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Video shows abusive taming of baby elephant for Thai tourism

Video shows abusive taming of baby elephant for Thai tourism

THAILAND: Footage of a distressed baby elephant jabbed by bullhooks at a Thai camp to tame it before joining the tourist industry has been released by conservationists in an appeal to end the practice.

animalswildlifetourism
By AFP

Thursday 25 June 2020, 10:43AM


About 3,000 domesticated elephants work in Thailand’s tourism sector, used for rides and performing tricks for travellers. Photo: AFP

About 3,000 domesticated elephants work in Thailand’s tourism sector, used for rides and performing tricks for travellers. Photo: AFP

The footage, taken on a hidden camera last year and published yesterday (June 24) by UK-based animal rights group World Animal Protection (WAP), shows what they say is the forced separation of a two-year-old female elephant from her mother.

The distraught calf is confined to a small space known as the “crush box” and held by chains and ropes for days as she struggles to escape.

Calves are repeatedly jabbed with a bullhook, a long rod with a sharpened metal tip, to get them to understand basic commands, sometimes causing bleeding.

About 3,000 domesticated elephants work in Thailand’s tourism sector, used for rides and performing tricks for travellers.

Animal rights activists have long argued that elephants endure abuse in the tourism industry, starting with the so-called “crush” process to tame them when young.

“We need to ensure that this is the last generation of elephants used for commercial tourism,” Jan Schmidt-Burbach, a wildlife veterinarian with WAP, told AFP.

WAP has not released details of the location of the camp to avoid repercussions for the people who shot the video.

To avoid starvation as the coronavirus halts global travel, hundreds of elephants are back in their home villages with their handlers.

But Thailand’s plans to relax some travel restrictions in the coming weeks, if the virus remains contained, have conservationists fearing the return of “the crush”.

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Kurt | 26 June 2020 - 10:55:39

No misunderstanding at all. Worldwide many tv channels have shocking recordings on their shells about Thai elephant abuse and cruelty. These tv stations can together make a full evening filling tv program about how Thai are treating elephants. International organisations can be more informative to tourists. It's good to read sometimes that a elephant tramples his iron hook mahout

LALALA | 26 June 2020 - 09:26:15

Pascale, No.... they can even bring their stick if they want. So I not have to bring mine.

Capricornball | 25 June 2020 - 18:48:50

It is infuriating to see these miserable, uneducated heartless pieces of human $#!^s torturing these wonderful creatures just to get it to perform some idiotic "trick".  It isn't amusing or cute or entertaining...it is idiotic.  Moreover, it is a black eye to Thailand to allow this cruel and foolish form of entertainment, while the rest of the civilized world  shuns these abusive pra...

Pascale | 25 June 2020 - 17:08:15

@Lalala   But only if they are chained too,right ?

LALALA | 25 June 2020 - 16:27:03

Give me one of this guys for 5 minutes...After this he will never be able to mistreat one of this creatures again. 

Fascinated | 25 June 2020 - 10:58:26

I'm sure it will all be a 'mis-understanding', if investigated at all.

 

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