When we travel to new countries, we want to experience everything that place has to offer.
For those lucky travelers who get to experience the beauty of Thailand there are numerous places where you are met with the opportunity to ride an elephant.
But what so many people don’t realize is the cruel treatment these elephants have to endure for the sake of the tourist industry.
Now shocking images of injured elephants are being released in the hope of changing this and to encourage tourists in Thailand to think twice about riding an elephant.
The shocking images, shared on Twitter, are believed to have been taken in Phuket, Thailand.
They show elephants covered in blood from being hit by sharp metal hooks by their keepers.
You can stop inhumanity tortured on elephants by stop riding an elephant! pic.twitter.com/oYtPd0wXzI
— abang da balik (@faizalghazaly) April 12, 2019
In response to this tweet a user posted upsetting footage of elephants being kidnapped and calves taken from their mothers and beaten into submission.
According to a World Animal Protection report in 2017 Thailand uses roughly twice as many elephants in tourism as all the other countries combined.
‘Cruel elephant activities’
The report also said captive elephants in Thailand gave rides to almost 13 million people in 2016, as covered by BBC News.
“Most tourists sign up for experiences with elephants because they love wild animals and don’t know about the cruelty behind the rides, tricks and photo opportunities,” the report said.
“If people knew the facts, then they wouldn’t participate in cruel elephant activities.”
The Tourism Authority of Thailand told Yahoo news: “Please don’t ride the elephants and don’t support this business.
“We never support tourists riding the elephants.”
Dr Patrapol Maneeorn, a Wildlife Veterinarian of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said crucial steps to stop this were being taken.
Visit humane sanctuaries
“What we are doing is collaborating with different organisations and sectors in Thailand to reduce and hopefully eliminate animal cruelty as much as possible,” he told Unilad.
“Travel businesses and individual tourists can help government agencies by boycotting businesses that do not take good care of animals.”
Tourists are encouraged to enjoy the beauty of elephants at humane sanctuaries like Elephant Valley, where the animals are free to roam.
This has to stop! Please share this story so more people know about the abuse behind this popular tourist activity.