Elephants are losing a vicious battle against the greed of humankind. Despite being herbivores who do not pose a dangerous threat to humans, they are often the target of horrific abuse, torture, and murder.
Most people are aware that poaching is killing off elephants and leaving behind orphans, but not many people realize that the tourism industry is another major contributor to the demise of these gentle giants.
Similar to circuses, the elephant tourism industry (elephant trekking, elephant baths, etc.) uses and abuses elephants and forces them to perform unnatural behaviors. In order to make the animals submit, they are often kidnapped when they are young, locked up in restraints and heavy chains, while handlers torture them with whips and bullhooks in order to make them fear people and submit to orders.
In the above video, we see what goes on behind the bright signs that promote elephant trekking and baths. Undercover footage shared by Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand reveals a female elephant at a tourist attraction in south Thailand who is blind in one eye and has limited vision in the other … but is still being forced to carry massive loads of tourists on her back each and every day. When she does not obey orders during the work day, she is brutally whipped and beaten in the face, trunk, head, and feet for hours while she is chained up and cannot escape.
Many tourists, in search for the perfect selfie on the back of an elephant to garner likes on social media, fail to think about what life is like for the elephants. As if the horrific abuse is not enough to deter people, the elephant tourism industry often results in accidents that seriously injure and kill humans as well as elephants. – onegreenplanet.org