Animal tourism abuse comes in light as elephant attack kills British tourist

Published on : Tuesday, February 9, 2016

elephant-kills-british-touristsThe death of a British tourist riding an elephant in Thailand prompts animal welfare activists to call for radical measures regarding animal tourism trade.


Last week’s trampling and killing of a tourist from UK by a male Thai elephant red-flagged the way animals are treated for entertainment purposes.

Ending of abusive tourism attractions such as elephant rides, tiger parks and primate shows are among conservationist’s campaign claims.

According to animal rights campaigners, the inhumane training methods turn the docile elephants into unpredictable raging ones, endangering both the tourists and the animals.

The World Animal Protection charity organisation revealed footage of savage training of orphan elephants called “the crush”. The animals are restrained and beaten until they become easier to manipulate and train.

Despite Thai government’s statement according to which the country “takes the issue of animal cruelty seriously”, Edwin Wiek, founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, presented documents to prove that Thailand’s 80 elephant camps summing up 2.800 elephants are not properly regulated.

Animal welfare activists say further regulations and increased law enforcement is needed in Thailand, as, besides wildlife trafficking high rates, the country constantly abuses animals: primates are forced to fight each other for the entertainment of tourists, tigers are beaten by their handlers and elephants are trained for rides using incredibly brutal practices.

Animal attractions bring big money for Thailand’s tourism sector, as this kind of entertainment accounts for about 10% of the country’s GDP. Nevertheless, the sector remains resilient even if people often get attacked and killed.

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