Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…read more
Elephant tourism exploitation report identifies offenders
A new report by international animal welfare organisation World Animal Protection into the use of elephants in tourism alleges that more than three quarters of nearly 3,000 elephants used in tourist entertainment in Asia are kept in severely cruel conditions, with the report naming the worst offenders.
With riding an elephant one of the most popular tourist activities in Asia, World Animal Protection investigated the conditions of 2923 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Laos and Cambodia, and found that “77% of them were treated appallingly”.
With Thailand using twice as many elephants in tourism as all the other Asian countries combined, the report states “tourism to Thailand doubled from 15.9 million to 32.6 million visitors between 2010 and 2016, contributing to a 30% rise (1688 to 2,198) in elephants held in captivity for tourist activities.”
The research also found that several venues in Thailand receive thousands of visitors daily, generating estimated profits of tens of thousands of dollars per month from exploiting Asian elephants – an endangered species.
When not giving rides or performing, elephants are typically chained day and night, often to chains less than three metres. They are also fed poor diets, given limited veterinary care, and are frequently kept on concrete floors in stressful locations near loud music, roads or visitor groups.
These conditions do not cater for the elephants’ intelligence, behaviours and needs, the report says. It also says that such conditions follow the severe trauma endured by elephants in their early years, which is caused by separation from their mothers and harsh training regimes to break their spirits and make them submissive enough to give rides and perform.
Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach, Global Wildlife and Veterinary Advisor at World Animal Protection, explained "the cruel trend of elephants used for rides and shows is growing.
“We want tourists to know that many of these elephants are taken from their mothers as babies, forced to endure harsh training, and suffer poor living conditions throughout their life.
“There is an urgent need for tourist education and regulation of wildlife tourist attractions worldwide. Venues that offer tourists a chance to watch elephants in genuine sanctuaries are beacons of hope that can encourage the urgently needed shift in the captive elephant tourism industry.”
Since 2005, World Animal Protection, which believes that wildlife should be left in the wild, has been campaigning to improve the welfare of elephants, and a study on tourist attitudes in 2017 shows a 9% drop globally in the number of people who find elephant riding acceptable compared to three years ago.
In 2014, the organisation revealed that 53% of people globally felt that riding an elephant was acceptable and 40% found it unacceptable, compared to 2017, when only 44% thought elephant riding was acceptable and 49% found it unacceptable.
World Animal Protection says most tourists sign up for experiences with elephants “because they love wild animals and don’t know about the cruelty behind the rides, tricks and photo opportunities; if people knew the facts, then they wouldn’t do it. The best place to see an elephant is in the wild, or in the next best place, a genuine elephant sanctuary.”
Image: Elephant tourism in Thailand.
3rd April 2017 - AUSTRALIA’S LAST AFRICAN ELEPHANT DIES AT TARONGA WESTERN PLAINS ZOO
9th December 2016 - THAILAND TOURISM BREAKS RECORDS WITH 30 MILLIONTH VISITOR
15th August 2016 - THAILAND LOOKS TO BOOST INDUSTRY AND TOURIST CONFIDENCE
22nd March 2016 - SEAWORLD USA TO MOVE AWAY FROM KILLER WHALE SHOWS
12th May 2015 - WAZA SUSPENDS JAPANESE ZOO ASSOCIATION OVER TAIJI DOLPHIN HUNTS
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…read more
At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…read more
Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…read more
The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/read more
Intelligenz provides Leisure Management Software for managing all your Program Registrations, Facility Bookings, Membership Sales and POS Transactions; including detailed Reporting, automated…read more
Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!