World Animal Protection (WAP) is an international non-profit animal welfare organisation that has been active for over 30 years. The NPO works tirelessly to protect and conserve the globe’s wildlife.
Recently the organisation released footage of the traumatic physical and psychological damage that elephant calves undergo in preparation for tourist entertainment in Thailand and other countries.
Elephant riding and interactions were once a very popular thing to do in Thailand. In recent years though, this is no longer the case. There has been a global call to have these camps shut down based on the cruel and inhumane conditions that the animals are subjected to.
Elephant tourism is a disgraceful method of profits off an animal. Elephants are familial animals and to tear a calf away from its mother is unforgivable.
The videos captured by World Animal Protection have exposed just how cruel this trade is. In a statement, the organisation explained that these animals are subjected to ‘a lifetime of horror for a “once in a lifetime” holiday experience.’
‘There are approximately 2,800 captive elephants exploited in camps across Thailand who have undergone this cruel training. The harrowing footage was captured to document the most common practices used to break the elephants’ spirits, which is done using a range of techniques, including:
- the use of a bullhook – a metal tool used to jab sensitive areas
- chains to restrain them
- frequent exposure to stressful situations
‘This horrific treatment of elephants is to make them submissive enough to be used for performing, riding, bathing, and other tourist interactions. The demand from tourism drives the demand for elephant experiences, and trainers are forced to deploy these methods.’
Audrey Mealia, the global head of wildlife at WAP said: ‘We are at a turning point when it comes to our relationship with wild animals.