Jump to content
BANGKOK
webfact

Trauma, abuse for Thai elephants taught tricks for tourists, charity says

Recommended Posts

Trauma, abuse for Thai elephants taught tricks for tourists, charity says

By Juarawee Kittisilpa and Jiraporn Kuhakan

 

2020-06-29T150333Z_1_LYNXMPEG5S1E6_RTROPTP_4_THAILAND-ELEPHANTS.JPG

This handout image shows a baby elephant tied up to poles during a training process, known as 'the crush', that young elephants endure to make them submissive to interact with tourists in an undisclosed location in Thailand, June 18, 2020. World Animal Protection/Handout via REUTERS

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Undercover video obtained for an investigation into alleged animal cruelty shows baby elephants in Thailand taken from their mothers then exposed to abusive training methods to perform tricks for tourists, according to a wildlife charity.

 

World Animal Protection has released footage filmed secretly at several camps at undisclosed locations between December 2018 and January 2020, showing distressed mothers and babies pulled apart, and the young elephants enduring isolation and physical and mental trauma.

 

The videos capture what the charity said was three training teams breaking the spirit of elephants to wean them from mothers to make them submissive, and able to learn tricks like walking on hind legs, painting on a canvas and spinning hoops on trunks.

 

Thailand's environment minister on Monday told Reuters animal cruelty would not be tolerated and if the footage was authentic, swift action would be taken against the perpetrators.

 

The recordings feature eight elephants put through a four-step programme that the charity said was called "the crush", including making them hobble with chained legs, poking sensitive areas with bull-hooks or exposing them to busy highways.

 

The footage shows what the group said was the ordeal of one mother elephant, Gintaala, who has been separated over time from each of her four calves in turn.

 

"Elephants they are together ... They walk in herds and they look after each other. So, doing things like that is very inhumane," said Roatchana Sungthong, country manager for World Animal Protection.

 

Elephants have been a source of national pride and cultural identity for Thailand throughout its history, used for labour, transport and in battlefield triumphs by warriors and kings.

 

Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said animal cruelty was unacceptable and urged any group with information or evidence of abuses to come forward immediately.

 

"Because these kind of things, you know, a second delayed it means the life and death of these animals," he said.

 

Laithongrien Meepan, an elephant expert and owner of an elephant camp in Ayutthaya north of Bangkok, said he believed the videos were staged and showed outdated methods that were formerly used on elephants caught in the wild.

 

Laithongrien, whose camp has not been accused of abusive practices, said elephant handlers would not use such methods.

 

"Those video clips are fake and it was a setup. Who would do such things? To me, there is no reason to do that," he said of the techniques.

 

World Animal Protection's Roatchana said the video was real and not a set up.

 

(Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Giles Elgood)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-06-30
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, webfact said:

said those video clips are fake and it was a setup

And how would he know? Invite him to go and watch and get it on film. You'll never see a guy run so fast.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why no names? Location?  Read about this in 4 different publications now but no location on names given once.

 

Despite this...

 

Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said animal cruelty was unacceptable and urged any group with information or evidence of abuses to come forward immediately.

 

"Because these kind of things, you know, a second delayed it means the life and death of these animals," he said.

 

Only goes to show that if the videos are genuine - it is not normalised and those responsible will be held to account.  Despite likes of WAP spreading the BS that this is standard practice for all captive elephants (it isn't) - to fit with their narrative (and keep those donations flooding in).  If names/locations are not given then it suggests it was indeed staged.  

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, webfact said:

Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said animal cruelty was unacceptable and urged any group with information or evidence of abuses to come forward immediately.

So in other words don't bother investigating, ignore the evidence provided in the report and wait for further atrocities to come to light, rinse and repeat

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, brownrabbit said:

So why no names? Location?  Read about this in 4 different publications now but no location on names given once.

 

Despite this...

 

Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said animal cruelty was unacceptable and urged any group with information or evidence of abuses to come forward immediately.

 

"Because these kind of things, you know, a second delayed it means the life and death of these animals," he said.

 

Only goes to show that if the videos are genuine - it is not normalised and those responsible will be held to account.  Despite likes of WAP spreading the BS that this is standard practice for all captive elephants (it isn't) - to fit with their narrative (and keep those donations flooding in).  If names/locations are not given then it suggests it was indeed staged.  

Exactly right!

 

There has been a video of 'the crush' going around for many years (at least 15) that is promoted regularly by activists including PETA to try to convince the gullible that this is the normal state of affairs in Thailand and that all elephants in captivity have had to endure torture. It is not and they do not.

 

In fact once the Thai authorities were made aware of that video going around they tracked down the culprits to a Karen village on the Myanmar border. They were rightly critical of the activist who filmed the incident without informing them of the whereabouts of the atrocity.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ELF. But seriously not sure what to think on this. Thai and elephants are like westerners and dogs, except we don't abuse dogs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, hotchilli said:

All in the name of entertainment, sickening that this is done to make a profit...

tourists should shun these places..
 

I quite like them.

If they were cheaper I would visit more.

Don't really care how people treat their cats or dogs when out of my sight (locked up alone all day).

Why would I think different for Elephants?

  • Like 2
  • Sad 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...