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

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50 minutes ago, digger70 said:

That Doesn't sound Right.

If the Footage filmed Was/Is Real than they must Name the Places where this took place  to Prove and to prosecute the people who done/do this to the Elephants. 

Agree. World Animal Protection are a huge London based international animal rights organisation with a huge influence in both the MSM and on social media.  

 

If government ministers are publicly asking for names and locations then why are they not forthcoming? There may be a reason but seems a tad suspect.

It means 2 things...

1. It was staged to push a false narrative and ensure the donations keep flooding in and the only places that get tourists (when tourism restarts) are those run and supported by the WAP

2. It is a genuine example of animal cruelty for which those guilty should/and seemingly will, be held to account. 

 

Regardless, it is NOT proof that this is how all elephants in captivity are trained. To use a shock video to try and eliminate ALL forms of elephant tourism is not only harmful to those who care for elephants and those dependent on them for their livelihoods, but also the elephants themselves.  They need an income. Someone needs care for them and to feed them. They eat. A lot.   And no - not all 3500 odd captive elephants can simply be held in observation only 'sanctuaries' until they eventually die of old age....nice idea that it is.

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It seems likely an investigation is taking place. The very first thing stated is "Undercover video obtained for an investigation". If Thai officials refused then surely this organization would say as much. It would be nice to get updates on this. It's an important topic that has been swept under the rug for too long.

 

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This has been known for years and years .......................

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My personal view is that these elephants should not be in any kind of elephant camp where they have to perform for tourists or provide rides etc. 

 

As Thailand opens up again to tourism, these camps should be going in the other direction >> closed down for good.

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So why did Thailand’s elephant population crash in the last 100 years?  They were no longer valuable laborers—so they wound up in the local meat market...

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There is a lot of hypocrisy in the previous comments. Your cows, pigs and chickens endure much worse. Then you point the finger at somebody else's country. Clean up your act in your own country before you comment on somebody else's country.

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The video clips are not fake,  they showed us on the OZ news the little elephant baby being taken away and its mother crying and the baby crying, basically you never separate a mother and baby elephant, its a part of the pack , these morons people should be exposed about this cruelty and the full force of the law administered. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, chainarong said:

The video clips are not fake,  they showed us on the OZ news the little elephant baby being taken away and its mother crying and the baby crying, basically you never separate a mother and baby elephant, its a part of the pack , these morons people should be exposed about this cruelty and the full force of the law administered. 

So what about dogs and puppies, are they not 'part of a pack'

How about cows and calves, are they not 'part of a herd'

 

If the elephants had no use in tourist shows they'd be dead.

How many large mammals are left free to roam in your town?

Edited by BritManToo
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Commerce over ethics ... as in so many other cases Thailand fails to meet it own (supposedly) very high standards. This is supposed to be the national animal, yet abused for the sake of earning a living. Locals pride themselves of their Budhist traditions but in real live they practice Budhism 'light' if that at all. Seeing various creatures being abused at temples so that merit makers can poor a handful half dead fish back into the water is just apaling and if that is Budhism it is good for nothing.

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34 minutes ago, chainarong said:

The video clips are not fake,  they showed us on the OZ news the little elephant baby being taken away and its mother crying and the baby crying, basically you never separate a mother and baby elephant, its a part of the pack , these morons people should be exposed about this cruelty and the full force of the law administered. 

I agree.  If this did happen then let's hope they are rightfully held to account.

 

But because it was on the Australian news does that mean it is not staged?  Which Australian news channel filmed it and did they name the location?  Or do you mean they merely showed the WAP released footage - that is doing the rounds on global mainstream media and social media?  The distinction needs to be made here.  I am not sure why the place has not been named yet.  Perhaps there is a reason but it seems a little odd to not go public and name and shame - especially when someone from the Thai government has made a request.  

 

In captive elephant training you DO need to separate mother and baby sadly - until the training is finished.  How long this takes (1, 2, maybe 3 months) depends.  Then the elephants can be returned to mother/aunt, family.  This separation happens usually when the elephant is 3-4 years old (so during those very early formative years they are always, rightfully, together).  Do not equate the pajaan (a traditional elephant blessing) and elephant training with being the same as recycled shock videos put out by Peta and WAP.  Even if the video was genuine - it does not prove this is standard practice just because they claim it does.  There are obvious reasons why they would push that narrative.      

 

Remember, these are captive elephants that spend their lifetimes around humans.  With no training and bond established between mahout and elephant, the chances of injury and deaths to humans living alongside and caring for elephants is significantly higher.  Learning is part of all life.  It is part of captive elephant life too.  It is important to note that training methods and practices have also changed for the better.     

 

Also, what about elephant healthcare?  If a mahout can't guide and have some sort of control over his elephant, how can the elephant be easily treated when healthcare is needed? Which will be often during the course of an elephant's (hopefully long) lifespan.  Note - elephants in captivity tend to live longer now than their completely wild counterparts.  This completely contradicts the belief that all mahouts and camps are abusing and exploiting their poor elephants.  Remember, many years ago elephants were used in logging - a far more brutal and demanding form of employment.   

 

Then there is the small (rather huge) matter of bull elephants.  Think for a moment how big and potentially dangerous they are.  Then there is musth - a time when a bull's testosterone levels are 60x their norm!  Think about the people who risk their lives caring for these bulls - yet going by the majority of posters on social media - just get slated from positions of total ignorance.  There is a reason why these supposedly "no hook no chains sanctuaries" do not have many bull elephants.  There is one at the much-lauded ENP - sadly confined to an enclosure after apparently taking the lives of at least two mahouts (but maybe more).  This elephant did NOT undergo training.  Rest of life in an enclosure doesn't sound like the best way to see out a lifetime.  Training then may be a very small price to pay for a captive elephant (and those charged with caring for them).      

 

So going back to what this whole issue is about.  Captive elephant training IS needed.  That DOES NOT mean unethical practices and cruel abuse.  Nor does it mean permanent separation from mother and baby.  If someone has employed such methods they are certainly not representative of all as those who work with elephants have said. 

 

I would not be so quick to fall for the one-sided narrative here promoted by animal rights organizations with vested interests (and heavily reliant on emotional donations that flow in - especially when the sad piano music set to a backdrop of almost unwatchable elephant pain and cries).  Heartbreaking edited video footage with a sad piano playing on in the background is a powerful combo.      

 

If the video was genuine and not staged then I await the places and names. 

 

I then HOPE action is rightfully taken.

 

However, it is plainly wrong to tar all those in captive elephant care with the same brush or equate essential training practices with elephant torture and abuse.   There are amazing camps where elephants are afforded all they would need to live long and healthy lives.  Captive elephant practices have also changed SO MUCH for the better.  

 

Yet someone still needs to feed and care for them and they need a big income to sustain their huge appetites.  To criticize all those caring for elephants (as many posters here are doing, and 95 pc of Western social media users commenting on the subject do) and suggesting they are all cruel and heartless animal abusers and exploiters is unhelpful, not least to the elephants themselves.   

     

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54 minutes ago, Mick501 said:

Might want to read up about elephant crushing.   When the elephant is young the bull hook, a 10-15cm curved metal spike, is pushed in to the flesh and the flesh is deliberately torn. This isin sensitive areas, or areas where they see their own blood.  Eventually the elephant is "crushed" and will comply from fear, just by seeing the hook.  

 

Comparing to police is a ridiculous analogy, unless you know of police who repeatedly shoot people to get them to behave.

Care to share the reading?  Not sensationalist animal rights pieces or blogposts from someone from the West who has spent a week "finding themselves" volunteering at an elephant sanctuary - but actual experts in captive elephant care describing how and why mahouts who love their elephants (and many regard as family) would see this as normal practice.  

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As to where this took place note they say "footage filmed secretly at several camps at undisclosed locations". This was a smart move. Prove that it isn't just an isolated incident that can be chalked up to one oddball on one odd night but is in fact a widespread practice in Thailand.

 

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Hopefully the day will come ,when people like this get their comeuppance....

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4 hours ago, brownrabbit said:

I agree.  If this did happen then let's hope they are rightfully held to account.

 

But because it was on the Australian news does that mean it is not staged?  Which Australian news channel filmed it and did they name the location?  Or do you mean they merely showed the WAP released footage - that is doing the rounds on global mainstream media and social media?  The distinction needs to be made here.  I am not sure why the place has not been named yet.  Perhaps there is a reason but it seems a little odd to not go public and name and shame - especially when someone from the Thai government has made a request.  

 

In captive elephant training you DO need to separate mother and baby sadly - until the training is finished.  How long this takes (1, 2, maybe 3 months) depends.  Then the elephants can be returned to mother/aunt, family.  This separation happens usually when the elephant is 3-4 years old (so during those very early formative years they are always, rightfully, together).  Do not equate the pajaan (a traditional elephant blessing) and elephant training with being the same as recycled shock videos put out by Peta and WAP.  Even if the video was genuine - it does not prove this is standard practice just because they claim it does.  There are obvious reasons why they would push that narrative.      

 

Remember, these are captive elephants that spend their lifetimes around humans.  With no training and bond established between mahout and elephant, the chances of injury and deaths to humans living alongside and caring for elephants is significantly higher.  Learning is part of all life.  It is part of captive elephant life too.  It is important to note that training methods and practices have also changed for the better.     

 

Also, what about elephant healthcare?  If a mahout can't guide and have some sort of control over his elephant, how can the elephant be easily treated when healthcare is needed? Which will be often during the course of an elephant's (hopefully long) lifespan.  Note - elephants in captivity tend to live longer now than their completely wild counterparts.  This completely contradicts the belief that all mahouts and camps are abusing and exploiting their poor elephants.  Remember, many years ago elephants were used in logging - a far more brutal and demanding form of employment.   

 

Then there is the small (rather huge) matter of bull elephants.  Think for a moment how big and potentially dangerous they are.  Then there is musth - a time when a bull's testosterone levels are 60x their norm!  Think about the people who risk their lives caring for these bulls - yet going by the majority of posters on social media - just get slated from positions of total ignorance.  There is a reason why these supposedly "no hook no chains sanctuaries" do not have many bull elephants.  There is one at the much-lauded ENP - sadly confined to an enclosure after apparently taking the lives of at least two mahouts (but maybe more).  This elephant did NOT undergo training.  Rest of life in an enclosure doesn't sound like the best way to see out a lifetime.  Training then may be a very small price to pay for a captive elephant (and those charged with caring for them).      

 

So going back to what this whole issue is about.  Captive elephant training IS needed.  That DOES NOT mean unethical practices and cruel abuse.  Nor does it mean permanent separation from mother and baby.  If someone has employed such methods they are certainly not representative of all as those who work with elephants have said. 

 

I would not be so quick to fall for the one-sided narrative here promoted by animal rights organizations with vested interests (and heavily reliant on emotional donations that flow in - especially when the sad piano music set to a backdrop of almost unwatchable elephant pain and cries).  Heartbreaking edited video footage with a sad piano playing on in the background is a powerful combo.      

 

If the video was genuine and not staged then I await the places and names. 

 

I then HOPE action is rightfully taken.

 

However, it is plainly wrong to tar all those in captive elephant care with the same brush or equate essential training practices with elephant torture and abuse.   There are amazing camps where elephants are afforded all they would need to live long and healthy lives.  Captive elephant practices have also changed SO MUCH for the better.  

 

Yet someone still needs to feed and care for them and they need a big income to sustain their huge appetites.  To criticize all those caring for elephants (as many posters here are doing, and 95 pc of Western social media users commenting on the subject do) and suggesting they are all cruel and heartless animal abusers and exploiters is unhelpful, not least to the elephants themselves.   

     

 

Exceptionally well explained. Thank you so much.

 

As someone who has worked up close with elephants in Thailand for many years, I endorse everything you have said.

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