As part of our research into questionable elephant “retirement homes” in the highly popular tourist destination of Thailand, ENN has found that the Royal Elephant Kraal Village (and its tourist center “Ayutthaya Elephant Palace” and non-profit “Elephantstay”) is claiming that their pregnant elephants give rides, often up until the day they give birth.
Not only is this morally questionable, ENN through our extensive research come upon a document, that we read through as a translated post, that in 2015, the government of Thailand passed the first animal protection law, which “forbids the use of any old, PREGNANT, lame or sick elephants used in trekking”. Elephantstay, however, claims, “giving rides to tourists is positive and enhances successful birth…rates”. They are referring to the working pregnant elephants. This organisation further claim that pregnant elephants giving rides allows them “to socialize and exercise”, that it is “important for [their] mental and physical well-being”, and that “elephants that do not work get bored, frustrated and physically out of condition”. We don't believe this statement is based on any scientific fact other than presenting an argument of strong persuasion to continue using her. Think the weight she is carrying on her back, plus her baby. She is not a mother, she is a commodity.
If you see any old, pregnant, lame or sick elephants being used for trekking or rides in Thailand, please contact the Thai authorities. Report this as you would in any country if you witnessed the mistreatment of an animal.
Please make wise choices when on holiday and support eco friendly elephant care facilities that simply DO NOT allow riding and bathing.
Their lives have been hard, give them peace.
All wording by ENN
Photo Credits: Wikimedia
References: Insider Journeys, Elephantstay
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