The elephant plays an important role in the lifestyles of many people in Southeast Asia - and in ways you might have never imagined. Elephants as part of a fire crew? Check.
"Officials in Indonesia are using trained elephants outfitted with water pumps and hoses to help control fires that have claimed vast amounts of forest while sending thick haze into neighboring countries.
For nearly three months, Riau province in East Sumatra has been blanketed by smoke from forest fires and land clearing, especially in peat-rich areas where flames are difficult to contain.
At the elephant conservation center in Siak district, 23 trained elephants are being used as 'forest watchdogs.'"