Every year millions of tourists flock to Thailand to enjoy its tropical beaches, decadent royal palaces and ornate temples.
Outside of the cities you will find beautiful forests with tour guides ready and waiting to show you around. A lot of these guides ensure you’re as comfortable as possible by offering elephant rides.
For tourists this is a chance to do something different, a picture-perfect moment to remember forever. But what many tourists don’t realize is what this elephant has to endure being part of the tourist industry.
Now there are reports of a baby elephant collapsing in Thailand from exhaustion. It was tied to its mother who was giving rides to tourists in Pattaya, Thailand, according to the Daily Mail.
Elephant calf 'collapses with exhaustion' while tied to its mother giving rides to tourists in Thailand. It’s lheartbreaking to see that the tourists don’t care any more than the elephant’s owners. Sam ??https://t.co/sPXkGSmZRP
— Xpose Trophy Hunting (@XposeTrophyHunt) May 23, 2019
There were around 100,000 captive elephants in Thailand in the early 20th century, according to Eco-Business. In 2007 there were just 3,456, and today they are an endangered species.
The incident involving the 1-year-old calf who was tied to its mother’s neck with a rope, happened at the Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens in eastern Thailand.
‘Baby elephant was so exhausted’
According to the Daily Mail, a tourist who refused to be named, said: “There are many more baby elephants tied with their mother walking around with tourists at their backs enjoying under the heat of the sun while these elephants are suffering.”
The tourist, a Filipino migrant worker who works as a teacher in Myanmar, was on a holiday with friends in Pattaya. “This one baby elephant was so exhausted, and you can see the mother comforting and encouraging her to stand,” she said.
A spokesperson of the Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens told the Daily Mail that the elephants were all treated well.
“All of the elephants are healthy and treated very well. If there is a problem they are treated by vets. All of the babies here are healthy,” he said.
Tourist rides are a nightmare for elephants
Riding an elephant might be a great experience for tourists but for the elephant it’s a nightmare, according to the Dodo.
“Tourists may think activities like riding an elephant do no harm,” Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, from World Animal Protection told The Dodo.
“But the brutal truth is that breaking these animals’ spirits to the point that they allow humans to interact with them involves cruelty at every turn,” he said.
“The elephants give rides and perform tricks without harming people only because they’ve been ‘broken’ as babies and taught to fear the bullhook,” said an investigation on National Geographic.
If You Love Elephants, Don't Ever Ride Them. Here's Why.https://t.co/q7COXROE7x
— Marrysa Tunjung Sari (@poeticpicture) August 15, 2018
I had no idea what elephants had to endure in order to provide rides to tourists. Is this all really necessary?
Please share to highlight this suffering and help make it stop.