The longer we work in SE Asia, the more we see firsthand, every single day, how “Ride an Elephant” and “Go to an Elephant Show” often tops the bucket lists of unsuspecting tourists. And so, in person, every single day, we talk to as many people as possible about what the elephants went through before they bought a ride, and what will happen when the ride is over. No matter what the elephant camp says, no matter what spin they’re selling, what these animals endure when the crowds aren’t around is unacceptable on every level.
The real battle here is awareness, for if people knew what it takes for the world’s largest land animal to submit in this way, they would never, ever ask for it. What elephants endure behind the scenes to carry tourists in a chair, play darts, ride a bike, or twirl a hoop is something you’ll never, ever forget if forced to see it, and simply does not need to happen.
Here is one way you can help end some of the most cruel training methods inflicted on elephants anywhere: Do Not Go To An Elephant Show. Do Not Ride an Elephant. Anywhere. In any country, any tour, any show. Money perpetuates the cruelty – Awareness can end it. We can change this, and with all of us sharing the true story, we will.