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German Tourist Fatally Injured After Falling From Elephant's Back


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Still amazes me how some people think these animals aren't abused/tortured they don't need to abuse the adults as they are taken from there mums at a young age tied to a tree and beaten senseless for 3 days it's called breaking the elephants spirit and scars the elephant mentally for life its not a pretty sight , pictures are available on google for those who don't think there is any harm in this.

yes I made some research on this....wasn't aware of it before...see my post 101...but you can't blame most tourists for not knowing ... they need educating ... I've lived in Thailand 30 years and only just found out...my kids all educated in Thai schools know nothing about it...

What I don't quite get is horse breaking...most but not all, of the time it seems to be carried out without abuse. Can't the same methods/techniques be used for an elephant or are they really that different in spirit. Both animals are intelligent so I'd have thought the same technique would work.

Edited by KKK
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Posting again but only as requested to answer a question.

What did YOU do about the incident of abuse YOU witnessed?

Sorry KKK, I presume this was the question you asked me to answer?? My not answering was an oversight.

I risked the wrath of the mahout and his hook, walked the 50 metres or so and tore strips off him, verbally, to the cheers of many of the westerners who saw it. He didn't understand the content but he certainly understood the tone, my gestures, and my attitude toward him. I don't think it will make any difference long term, but it immediately made me feel a hell of a lot better, although my blood pressure took a serious hit for a few minutes. The two methods I've seen for training animals are cruelty and food, both, regrettably involving subjugation in different forms.

I've lived in a number of Asian countries over many years, and they don't have the same attitude toward animals that most western countries do. It's sad, and I hate it, but the best thing I can do is not put myself in situations where I witness it. I also contribute to a couple of animal welfare organizations. I see too many organizations such as zoos, which I will never visit, hiding behind the mantra of 'captive breeding programs', but it seems few animals born to such programs are released, and more likely sold or traded to other zoos for public display so organizations can make money and CEO's suck fat salaries and bonuses out of them.

I think the methods of training are probably more race related KKK. I saw horses being broken as a kid in western Queensland, and cruelty was a part of it, just as killing cattle didn't first require stunning back then, but I think we've evolved here, largely because of the activities of animal rights organizations.

Recent publicity around Indonesian abattoirs cruelly killing cattle imported from Australia, in spite of education programs, shows that they place a different value on animal life from what we do, and before anybody accuses me of being racist, I'm not. I saw the same when living in Japan where fish are filleted whilst alive so 'toxins aren't released into the flesh' so making it less tasty. I would have thought that subjecting an animal to terrible pain, rather than a quick death, would be more likely to release toxins??

Edited by F4UCorsair
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Posting again but only as requested to answer a question.

What did YOU do about the incident of abuse YOU witnessed?

Sorry KKK, I presume this was the question you asked me to answer?? My not answering was an oversight.

I risked the wrath of the mahout and his hook, walked the 50 metres or so and tore strips off him, verbally, to the cheers of many of the westerners who saw it. He didn't understand the content but he certainly understood the tone, my gestures, and my attitude toward him. I don't think it will make any difference long term, but it immediately made me feel a hell of a lot better, although my blood pressure took a serious hit for a few minutes. The two methods I've seen for training animals are cruelty and food, both, regrettably involving subjugation in different forms.

I've lived in a number of Asian countries over many years, and they don't have the same attitude toward animals that most western countries do. It's sad, and I hate it, but the best thing I can do is not put myself in situations where I witness it. I also contribute to a couple of animal welfare organizations. I see too many organizations such as zoos, which I will never visit, hiding behind the mantra of 'captive breeding programs', but it seems few animals born to such programs are released, and more likely sold or traded to other zoos for public display so organizations can make money and CEO's suck fat salaries and bonuses out of them.

I think the methods of training are probably more race related KKK. I saw horses being broken as a kid in western Queensland, and cruelty was a part of it, just as killing cattle didn't first require stunning back then, but I think we've evolved here, largely because of the activities of animal rights organizations.

Recent publicity around Indonesian abattoirs cruelly killing cattle imported from Australia, in spite of education programs, shows that they place a different value on animal life from what we do, and before anybody accuses me of being racist, I'm not. I saw the same when living in Japan where fish are filleted whilst alive so 'toxins aren't released into the flesh' so making it less tasty. I would have thought that subjecting an animal to terrible pain, rather than a quick death, would be more likely to release toxins??

Thank you for finding the time to reply. You got the right question. I commend you 'attacking' the mahout and generally agree with you on most of the other points you made. I'm honestly ashamed of myself in not knowing the abuse that an elephant goes through so that it can be ridden. But elephant riding still seems to be widely available in Thailand; sometimes with a seat sometimes bareback. Not sure which way is better or if either of them can be called OK. My only hope is that those places that do offer elephant riding do train their elephants in a non-abusive way. I would think that current non-abusive methods of training horses would probably work but I'm no expert. If the only way is the awful method of 3 days of beatings that apparently can be found on google videos, I couldn't bring myself to watch it, then elephant riding should be banned. I will certainly avoid it and advise friends/family to do the same.

Problem is that we tend to only see the juicy steak on the plate waiting be be consumed and don't think of all the things that happened to get it there.Education, education, education, the key to any society that wants to call itself civilised.

Edited by KKK
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two types of elephant seats, howdah or houdah sometimes also called sedan

elephant_harnesses_large.jpg

The type most often used in Thailand...

and

elephant-rides.jpg

the type I've seen in India and Nepal

you decide which you think is safer......

Edited by KKK
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Still amazes me how some people think these animals aren't abused/tortured they don't need to abuse the adults as they are taken from there mums at a young age tied to a tree and beaten senseless for 3 days it's called breaking the elephants spirit and scars the elephant mentally for life its not a pretty sight , pictures are available on google for those who don't think there is any harm in this.

I believe that the situation is different for domesticated elephants - in that wild and domesticated require different sorts of "breaking"

however the whole situation with elephants is worse than deplorable.

Firstly Thailand had a surfiet of unemployed elephants and nowhere to keep them.

This resulted in the "owners" hiring them out of people who drag them round the streets....they are NOT mahouts or anything so dignified.

THen as this seems profitable the breeding of animals has continued especially as babies earn more money.

After this it was found that Burma is a source of cheaper elephants - and THESE are captured from the wild - broken in a most inhuman way - and then smuggled into Thailand.

It isn't just tourist who sponsor this cruel trade - or trades - but Thai people will flock to an elephant that is dragged around their town in the evening - apparently totally oblivious to the terrible history that led to its being there.

THis UTTER lack of concern by the "operators" for want of a better word- spills over in the general attitude to the tourists who are naively beguiled by the site of these wondrous beasts. As far as they are concerned the tourist is just there to have his money taken - if he falls offf and breaks his neck then "som nam na" - and the cover-up begins........

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Continuing from my previous post.......

And if elephant riding is so bad as you seem to contend what about the millions of horses that are ridden and raced each day!

From some research I've just done..it is not really the riding of elephants that seems to be objected to but the training that the elephant has to endure before it will allow a person on its back. If what I've read is true then I might tend to agree that riding on an elephants back is not so good. The same could also be said of horses ... and I have seen the torture that a horse is subjected to before it may allow someone to ride it.

Actually I've been present on many occasions when horses are saddle-trained and no abuse or force is needed - but these are domesticated animals born on a farm.....

I"m not sure but I'd wager that elephants are not really a domesticated species and as such have a different set of problems.

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Cowslip...you can't seem to make up your mind....

I believe that the situation is different for domesticated elephants - in that wild and domesticated require different sorts of "breaking"
I"m not sure but I'd wager that elephants are not really a domesticated species and as such have a different set of problems.

Anyway the way I see it is like this:

Some but not all elephants have been abused or mistreated. I've no idea on the percentage. Trouble is how can we tell. I don't think we can, so should we then have nothing to with elephants at all, not ride them, not bathe with them, not feed them in case one of them happens to have been an abused one and we could then be seen as "supporting" that abuse. There maybe some elephant camps that say they don't or never have abused their elephants but we only have their word on that. Without proper regulation, licensing and regular checks being made by some 'authoritative' agency we really can't be sure.And if we stay away from them all we end up with more 'unemployed', as cowslip puts it, elephants creating even more of a problem....Doesn't seem to be a solution does there...well I can't think of one....

Edited by KKK
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Once again those that are know all know nothings on this site speculate and proffer suggestions of blame, or the possibility of others escaping blame.<BR><BR>Sadly a woman has lost her life, whatever the circumstances, her husband will no doubt be distraught at his loss, once again no matter what the circumstances of her death, or whether or not it was as a result of him falling upon her, and also their extended family, and possibly children will be devastated.<BR><BR>My sympathies are extended to them all,<BR><BR>When making my reply I noticed that three members and sixty eight guests were reading the topic, given the quality of the posts so far any of those guests could be forgiven for assuming that the majority of members on Thai Visa Forum who contribute to these items are idiots. Its about time that you moderators got your act together and took matters in hand, speculation without anything to back it up should be regarded as 'off topic' and deleted, this would certainly reduce the number of irrelevant posts.

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<br />No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...<br />
<br />Seconded. Did they really blame the husband? <br /><br />The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.<br /><br />Amazing Thailand yet again. <br /><br />RIP and condolences.<br />
<br /><br />The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. <b>You lot are too paranoid. </b><br /><br /><br /><br />
<br /><br />more likely you haven't been here long enough to find out.<br /><br /><br /><br />
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Have to agree with that, anyone who has lived here for any reasonable time soon finds out Thais will always blame a farang when something goes wrong even if it is clearly the fault of a Thai....

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No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...

Seconded. Did they really blame the husband?

The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.

Amazing Thailand yet again.

RIP and condolences.

The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. You lot are too paranoid.

Not paranoid. Just aggressively ignorant. The responses were nothing more than unreasonable assumptions and defamatory statements that were made without anything near to appropriate details. In another carnation this mentality would have never missed a witch burning.
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Condolences to the husband and the whole family of the poor woman. RIP.

As with every such post, I can only note with disgust the various comments... Thai bashing in 90% of all posts... "Thai to be blamed for accident".... "would be treated differently if it would be a Thai"... "would be treated differently in Europe"... "no money to be made, case closed"....

I'd like to ask a question to the Admins: Why do you allow comments on such "news" items? You know what will be coming... you could as well add the standard blaming comments yourself and close the item for comments.... did not see a single comment that add value to the post... probably mine included...

If the Admins did as you suggest there would be no discussion at all on this site. Many of us are constantly amazed and amused at the lengths posters will go to in order to rubbish some aspect of Thai society. To take away the ability to moan and groan is akin to taking away the 'life blood' of many who post here. Feel sorry for them. Thailand is corrupt, we all know that, but we still live here and enjoy life - deal with it. Tourists know this as well, for its not like Thai culture is a massive secret on the internet etc.

My condolences to the family of this poor lady who seems to have been the subject of a tragic accident. R.I.P.

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No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...

Seconded. Did they really blame the husband?

The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.

Amazing Thailand yet again.

RIP and condolences.

The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. You lot are too paranoid.

No non Thai can be too paranoid here.

Absolutely! My motto has always been "Only the paranoid survive!"

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Negligent though the tour company was, this seems to me a freak tragic accident, your chances of dying from falling from 3 meters is pretty low, even when someone else lands on top of you.

Agreed, but it also depends on how a falling person hits the ground, if part of the head hits the ground first without any hand or arm protection, then fatality can occur from a very short fall.

Moreover, the landing of a person on top of one's body from about a 5 meter hight (depending on body weight) will do no more than breaking a few rib bones, particular in females.

There are of course always other possibilities, in this case for instance ... her husband (of heavy weight or not) could have fallen down on parts of his wife's body with bended elbows, and /or bended knees, and that could have caused fatality.

A very shocking event indeed.

Age should be taken into account as well.

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