Animal cruelty is not a matter to be taken lightly. Especially when these animals have no means to escape. After a Tweet on Twitter, the truth of the matter about elephants in Thailand is brought to light. While other bloggers have mentioned this problem, it seems the world is just not being enlightened.
In these new pictures, elephants can be seen bloody-faced, with marks on their heads where masters have whacked them repeatedly. But what can one person do? The answer is simple: stop riding them, stop funding the business.
Thousands and thousands of western tourists travel to Thailand each year, many of them choosing to interact with these abused elephants.
One spokesperson for the Tourism Authority of Thailand told Yahoo news, “Please don’t ride the elephants and don’t support this business.”
One blogger states, “Any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings means [the elephants] have undergone horrific abuse in order to get them to where they are. Remember, all of these elephants have suffered through the abusive and torturous crush.”
There is even now a petition to help these elephants and shut down the businesses partaking. The target? Thai Ambassador to the U.S. Pisan Manawapat. Lady Free Thinker reports that, “There are currently 3,500 wild elephants and 4,500 domesticated elephants living in Thailand. World Animal Protection reports that of the 3,000 working elephants in Asia, 77% are treated inhumanely.”
They urge you to sign their petition today: Sign Now
Reports say that Thailand is working hard to eliminate animal cruelty in the country, according to Dr Patrapol Maneeorn, a Wildlife Veterinarian of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
In a statement he said: What we are doing is collaborating with different organisations and sectors in Thailand to reduce and hopefully eliminate animal cruelty as much as possible.
Dr Maneeorn says Thai government agencies have attempted various methods to eradicate animal abuse, including ‘policy-making, supporting research on wildlife, rehabilitating injured animals, and eradicating the illegal wild animal trade.’
He’s even urged us as tourists to stop giving business or attention to these abusive attractions. Dr Maneeorn says that these elephants are beaten with bull hooks and other sharp objects in order to make them behave. But even after the elephants are “tame” the abuse continues.
If you’ll notice, some animals (like elephants) will make a swaying motion with their heads. Most people assume it is an action of a playful animal, but in fact it’s a coping mechanism for abused animals.
These elephants are taken from their mothers as babes in order for these businesses to “succeed” and the elephants to suffer a lifetime of abuse.
While all this is heartbreaking, there are sanctuaries in the country are fighting to prevent the mistreatment of animals. There’s one place called Elephant Valley that allows the elephants to roam free and fed every day. They aren’t asked to interact with tourists nor do any commands.
If all of these cruel businesses were to be replaced with places like Elephant Valley, then the animals would be saved. So does that mean you should never visit an elephant in Thailand? Not exactly. Just make sure you do your research first! And skip out on riding them. Elephants love baths! Just not in the way that Thai abusers like to give them. Everything should be done at the elephant’s pace. Not sure what that is? Contact an expert, Veterinarian, or someone from the Humane Society!
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