Hathi was head of the elephant troop. He is one of the oldest animals of the jungle and represents order, dignity and obedience to the Law of the Jungle.
During a drought when Mowgli was a child, Hathi and his three sons found a waterhole for all of the jungle animals to share during this harsh time, thus forming a "water truce" in which no animals will harm each other at the waterhole. This works, as it prevents Shere Khan from attacking Mowgli. From that point on, Hathi tells the story of how humans came to the jungle, referring to them as "fear".
After he was banished from the man village Mowgli revealed that Hathi once destroyed a human village in revenge for being captured, and persuaded Hathi and his sons to do the same to Buldeo's village as punishment for threatening Meshua with execution.
Disney film version Edit
- In the Disney film, the character of Hathi, like the other characters in Kipling's Mowgli stories, is greatly transformed and becomes a comic character. He is called "Colonel Hathi" and he leads his wife, Winifred Hathi, and his son, Hathi Junior, in a marching patrol while singing a deliberately silly song authored by the Sherman Brothers entitled, "Colonel Hathi's March". His role in the film is as follows: The night after Mowgli is hypnotized by Kaa, Col. Hathi and the Dawn Patrol patrol the jungle and wake Mowgli and Bagheera. When Mowgli comes to investigate, he tries to join with help from Junior. After the patrol, Hathi inspects all of his elephants. Once he reaches Mowgli, he thinks of him as a new recruit. But after Mowgli talks back to him, he yells at Mowgli for being a traitor. However, Bagheera comes to stop the fiasco. After Bagheera promises to return Mowgli, Hathi says the famous saying "an elephant NEVER forgets". But as they march along, Winifred tells Hathi that he left Junior behind. When he goes to fetch him, he forgets to say "halt" and all the elephants crash. Later in the film, Bagheera finds Hathi and asks him to find Mowgli, for he has ran away. Hathi refuses saying that the herd was on a cross country march and that Shere Khan can't be found for miles (the irony is that Shere Khan is actually listening to the conversation for he too is looking for Mowgli). Hathi's wife, Winifred, gets furious with Hathi and tells him to find the Man Cub with the threat of taking over command. Hathi does not listen. When Junior tries to convince his dad to find Mowgli, Hathi agrees to find him, bluffing that he "already had a plan in mind". After he organized all of his elephants, they start the search. Shere Khan then decides to start looking for the man cub.
- Hathi is also one of the main characters in the spin-off Jungle Cubs. This was before he was a colonel and is portrayed as a baby like everyone else.
- Colonel Hathi and all other characters (with the exception of King Louie and possibly Winifred) return in the Disney Sequel The Jungle Book 2.
- Hathi is a major character in the anime series Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli where he is the king and enforcer of the Law of the Jungle. Like the stories, he has 3 children. However, one change is that Chil the Kite is his messenger.
Hathi in popular cultureEdit
- Like all of the main Jungle Book Characters, Hathi is used as a name for a warranted adult, or young leader in many Cub Scout Packs.
- Elephants are honored and revered in India's neighboring island country Sri Lanka, millions worship Ganesh, the elephant god.
- Because of poaching, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks.