Is been claimed that the way you keep an elephant leashed is with a chain pegged to the ground which they can easily break, just since they have learned when they where younger they could not escape and they continue to believe so.
For example, Careers360.com
DO you know what they do to keep a circus elephant from running away? They tie a metal chain onto a collar around the mighty elephant’s leg – and tie it to a small wooden peg that’s hammered into the ground. The 10-foot tall, 5,000 kilo hulk could easily snap the chain, uproot the wooden peg, and escape to freedom. But it does not do that. In fact it does not even try. The world’s most powerful animal, which can uproot a tree as easily as you and I can break a toothpick, remains tied down by a small peg and a flimsy chain. How come?
It’s because when the elephant was a baby, its trainers used exactly the same methods. A chain was tied around its leg and the other end of the chain was tied to a metal stake on the ground. The chain and peg were strong enough for the baby elephant. When it tried to break away, the metal chain would pull it back. Sometimes, tempted by the world it could see in the distance, the elephant would pull harder. But the chain would cut into the skin on the elephant’s leg, making it bleed, creating a wound that would hurt the baby elephant even more. Soon, the baby elephant realised it was futile trying to escape. It stopped trying !
And now when the big circus elephant is tied by a chain around its leg, it remembers the pain it felt as a baby. And it does not try to break away. So even though it’s just a chain and a little wooden peg, the elephant stands still. It remembers its limitations, and knows that it can only move as much as the chain will allow. It does not matter that the metal stake has been replaced by a wooden peg. It does not matter that the 100 kilo baby is now a 5,000 kilo powerhouse. However, the elephant’s belief prevails.
Is this technique used and does it work?