“Sadly, elephant-loving tourists who want that ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, are fueling demand for a mammoth sized problem that causes unthinkable cruelty behind the scenes, without them realising.”
World Animal Protection seeks to create a world where animal welfare matters, and animal cruelty has ended. Active in more than 50 countries, they work directly with animals and with the people and organisations that can ensure animals are treated with respect and compassion. Many tourists are unaware that elephants performing tricks or giving rides have been taken from the wild or bred in captivity. That calves have been torn from their mothers, isolated and sometimes even left without food and water as part of their training. Or that beatings and intense trauma break their wild spirit and terrify them into obedience. They are working with governments, tourist venues and travel companies in order to end the cruel practices in elephant tourism.
So far, over 200 travel companies across the world have taken their pledge to no longer sell venues that allow elephant rides. They are working with two elephant venues in Thailand, ChangChill and Following Giants. These venues no longer allow close interactions with elephants but are observation-only, meaning visitors can watch the elephants foraging, grazing, socialising and just being elephants. With tourism having come to a halt due to the COVID-19 crisis, many high-welfare elephant venues in Asia have been struggling to care for their elephants. With help from their wonderful supporters, they have been able to help a number of venues provide food and medical care for their elephants during this difficult time.
You can help change the story for wild animals in tourism by researching tourist venues before you visit to ensure that your tourism money is not funding animal cruelty.
Remember, if you can hug, ride, touch or take a photo with a wild animal, the chances are it has suffered some kind of cruelty.
How you can help
We’re devoting the next 12 months of our lives to raising the money and awareness we need to stop species going extinct, and to put them back into recovery.
Our project brings together the best projects and thinking from 7 charities and a whole slew of experts from across the planet. Let this be the moment we say “NO MORE EXTINCTION” and start rebuilding their world, for all our benefits.
Please do consider donating and sharing our message to create a global voice of positivity and action. Thank you xx