WARNING: This article contains disturbing images not suitable for all viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
There are tourist attractions in every part of the world. That being said, no form of entertainment should come at the cost of exploitation. People who are visiting Thailand should not take an elephant safari after looking at these horrible pictures. These photographs are probably from Phuket and show the extent of torture these poor elephants are subjected to. Multiple wounds all over their bodies are inflicted by the ride operators who use metallic canes. The pictures went viral on Twitter and were circulated on other platforms as well.
The mass-circulation brought it to the notice of the tourism authorities who then took steps. The travel authorities have asked the tour planners to boycott elephant safaris altogether. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has spread awareness among the people visiting Thailand to not endorse the elephant safari business. The government too has stepped in to rescue the poor animals.
In #Phuket – #Thailand At A tourist Camp!
The tourist industry is at fault for this. There is no one else to blame. By riding elephants, seeing them paint, wanting a selfie, laughing at the ridiculous circus tricks YOU are funding the abuse & cruelty against the gentle creatures pic.twitter.com/FMOy98d8oi
— Susana.R.Soares (@SusanaRSoares1) July 28, 2019
Several new policies have been introduced and steps have been taken to rehabilitate the injured elephants. The government is trying to make any kind of trade that is related to wild animals illegal. There are dedicated independent organizations and government bodies that are trying to preserve the natural habitat of the elephants.
1 of the most fun/rewarding experiences🙏🏽Contributing 2 & visiting this Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. they rescue elephants from entertainment/riding & logging work. You get to feed them, slather them in mud, then give them a bath—it’s really a lifetime spa! #Thailand #elephants #❤️ pic.twitter.com/pwcbncSZIq
— Burt Bulos (@burtbulos) July 31, 2019
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT, says that the elephant is the national symbol of Thailand. The animal also has a significant status in Hinduism and Buddhism. Wildlife Veterinarian of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, Dr. Patrapol Maneeorn, estimates that there are more than three thousand wild elephants and four thousand domesticated elephants in the country. The ones that live in the wild are given protection by Thai law. However, domesticated elephants are treated like livestock, that is, working animals.
Elephants blood dripping from their heads after keepers repeatedly hit them with sharp metal hooks.
— Muhammad (@Eng_RaMo) July 31, 2019
The government is planning on taking down the elephants from the list of Working Animals and providing them a special status soon that will protect them. The new policy will ensure that the owner of the elephant treats it well.
You can stop inhumanity tortured on elephants by stop riding an elephant! pic.twitter.com/oYtPd0wXzI
— abang baik (@faizalghazaly) April 12, 2019
If you are a tourist or a citizen who has noted some kind of cruelty against animals, you can report it to the Wildlife First Aid Coordination Centre. You can also write to the Wildlife Friends Foundations Thailand and help them rescue the animals.
Disturbing photos have emerged of the injuries elephants suffer at the hands of their handlers in Thailand — renewing calls for tourists to boycott.
— nzherald (@nzherald) July 30, 2019
Boycott elephant safari and save the animals!