Elephant riding in Thailand is not the best idea, and here's why

 Elephant riding in Thailand is not the best idea, and here's why

Excursions with elephants in Thailand are sold at almost every step: more than 3,000 giants work on elephant farms in the tourist regions of the country, who ride everyone through the jungle and participate in the show. True, in recent years, major travel companies have stopped offering elephant rides. Why is the once popular attraction becoming less and less popular and what is behind this seemingly harmless entertainment?

Animal cruelty

By buying elephant rides, visitors to Thailand support cruel business. The domestication of elephants begins in early childhood, taking them away from their parents. Animals are sometimes hunted down in the jungle, with elephants that rush to the aid of their cubs often killed or maimed.

Preparing an elephant for work on elephant farms is a merciless and painful training.

To achieve complete obedience, the animal is mocked for several weeks. Elephants are placed in cramped pits or cages, their legs are tied and beaten until they have lost even the slightest desire to resist the drover.

While riding, far from the most humane methods are also used: to control the elephant, they beat him with sticks with sharp iron hooks at the end, and many animals have heads covered with scars. And they also file their tusks so that they do not inadvertently harm tourists. f550x700/3d/jc/3djcezbm4hkw0w00448kgksgo.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>

 Elephant riding in Thailand — is not the best idea, and here's why

Injuries

An elephant is not a mount, its skeleton is not designed to carry people day after day. You can only ride on elephants that are 15 years old, otherwise you can seriously injure their spine. In addition, the seat attached to the elephant's back wears away the skin, and infection gets into the wounds. Elephants reach their maximum performance only by the age of 25, but on many elephant farms they have to work hard from childhood.

Danger for people

Researchers believe that brutal training and hard work lead to serious stress disorders. This means that the behavior of the elephant becomes unpredictable and dangerous, and at any moment it can turn into an uncontrollable and aggressive creature. There are cases when an elephant during the next walk unexpectedly dumped a tourist and trampled him.

In the reserves, you can feed the elephant, wash the giant, play and even swim with him – but not ride.

What else to read on the topic

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  • We debunk 7 myths about Thailand: there is nothing to be afraid of
  • They believe in ghosts, do not drink milk and 5 more amazing facts about Thais

Alternative

All this does not mean that a responsible tourist in Thailand cannot communicate with elephants. There are reserves in the country where animals are treated with care: they are not forced to ride people and are not loaded with hard work. But in such parks you can feed the elephant, wash the giant, play and even swim with him. This, for example, is Happy Elephant Home in Chiang Mai Province (off. site) or the Ban Chang Elephant Park on Ko Chang Island, which sheltered giants who once worked in logging. In other reserves, tourists are not offered close contact with elephants, but there you can see how they graze and frolic in their natural environment.

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