Millions of people want selfies riding elephants , or washing them, or patting their trunks. WAP researchers assessed almost 3,000 elephants and found that more than three quarters were living in “severely cruel ” conditions.
In Thailand, you can avail an elephant ride at an affordable range. The comprehensive package including the ride, feeding and taking photos with the elephants will cost around 950 Baht ( Rs 2230) per person.
Interacting with the animals is one of the country’s major tourism draws, and a new organization is trying to make it more humane. More than half of Thailand’s 7,000 elephants live in captivity. But many of the so-called elephant camps let visitors bathe with them and ride them.
Look no further than these responsible elephant sanctuaries that offer a natural and ethical way to see these incredible gentle giants Elephant Nature Park. The Surin Project. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary . Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital. Elephant Haven. Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary . Elephants World.
Once fully trained, elephants used for riding will need to carry at least one person on its back, either on a blanket or saddle, but often with no padding at all. Carrying just one adult on its back can cause the elephant pain and over time, potentially even spinal injury .
They are also starved and deprived of sleep, in order to crush their spirits and become submissive to humans. This is an accepted practice in Thailand , and many elephants you will see in trekking camps will have undergone this horrific process.
Chang, meaning elephant , is Thailand’s national animal.
(C) Elephants are very big and very strong Thailand has a few wide-open, chain- free sanctuaries (see below) that earn an A+ rating from animal rights groups. Yet, they too have critics who say humans shouldn’t be that close to unpredictable animals.
Thai culture celebrates the elephant as a symbol of fortune. The superstitious will pay money to pass underneath the beast’s body in the hopes of gaining the animal’s luck . Besides being superstitious, one must also be brave as elephants are the largest land animals in existence today.
“ Ethical tourism is the way forward for captive elephants ,” says Mossman, who notes that in many areas, particularly in Thailand , there is no longer adequate land to release them into the wild. Brown also suggests that keeping ex-working or captive elephants in sanctuaries can be the best option.
But , elephants are not domesticated like horses , they are trained. Horses have been bread to more comfortable around people, by people for hundred of years, and they will let people ride them more easily. But Elephants are wild, and it can be a dramatic experience, training them to be ridable.
A socially excited elephant lifts and rapidly flaps her ears and widens her eyes. Tails: Just like a dog, when an elephant’s tail is swishing from side to side swatting away flies, it is happy . As soon as the tail goes stiff, normally held out to one side, it means that the elephant is anxious.
True sanctuaries never buy, sell, trade, breed, exploit, or profit from elephants . They never use bullhooks or punish elephants in other ways (even out of tourists’ sight), and they don’t force animals who naturally avoid humans into close contact with them.
Elephant crushing, or a training crush, is a method by which wild elephants can be tamed for domestication, using restriction in a cage, sometimes with the use of corporal punishment or negative reinforcement. This practice is condemned by a variety of animal-welfare groups as a form of animal cruelty .
The Best Places to See Elephants in Thailand Elephant Nature Park. Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital. Elephant Hills . Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. The Happy Elephant Home. Phang Nga Elephant Park. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary.