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Why you shouldn't participate in elephant rides


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Recently, horrifying images of elephants being beaten and tortured for the purposes of tourism have been circulating across numerous social media platforms, in order to raise awareness of the abusive treatment of these beautiful creatures. 

Elephant Riding

Image Credit: Paul on Flickr

Today, there is an estimated 15,000 Asian Elephants in captivity, with a large number of these animals being held captive for the purpose of the tourist industry. These elephants are regularly beaten into submission, often using Bull Hooks, as well as other instruments of torture, to physically and mentally 'break their spirits’

bull hook

Image Credit: Buzzfeed via Peta.

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in some cases baby elephants are stolen from their mothers as they are deemed as the eaisiest to train. Beacuse of the strength of an adult elephant, this often involves the killing of the mother before her calf can be captured. In the wild, elephants will travel many miles a day, but in captivity they are kept in small confinements and left in solitude. This is psychological abuse for an animal that is social and relies on a family unit.

The chains used to imprison them, as well as the concrete floors of their cages, are bad for their legs and can cause serious physical damage. Furthermore, many elephants suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their experiences.

The World Animal Protection has identified that between 2010 and 2016, there were 17 fatalities and 21 serious injuries to humans, because of sudden outbreaks of aggression from elephants in captivity. With these animals suffering under such conditions, is this really surprising? These are wild animals and it is immoral to keep them locked up for our own pleasure, or a good photo for your Instagram page.

Animal in Chains

Image Credit: stonethestone on flickr

Some places call themselves ‘sanctuaries’ or ‘safe places’ to prove their lack of cruel practices to tourists. However, you do not know what happens behind the scenes and therefore should not take a chance on any place that offers elephant rides.

These pictures, which have been circulating on Facebook and Twitter, show these majestic creatures being tortured and abused, all suffering under the hands of humans,leaving not an ounce of dignity for the animals. Please, if you have learnt one thing from this article, let it be that you should not fund these tourist activities, as they work on a supply and demand basis. If there is no demand from tourists the business will end. One small change from everyone and we can end the cruel treatment of these magnificent animals and let them roam free, as they deserve and more importantly, as they have the right to be.

Lead Image: Andy Bay on Pixabay 

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