Elephant riding is a real issue all over Asia. We therefore would like to inform other travellers to be aware of animal cruelty.
Say No To Animal Tourism
Thom's Pai Elephant Camp in Pai, Thailand is the first elephant camp where tourists can interact with the gentle giants. They make tourists like you and I believe that they take care of these beautiful creatures and that they are a part of the family. All of this is not true and the reality is quite the opposite.
You can mostly choose between riding bareback or in a seat, swimming with elephants or feeding the elephants. For all who is not informed about the stress this brings to the animal... Animal welfare experts claim that elephant rides are harmful for the gentle giants. This leads to extreme types of distress and anxiety as a result.
We wanted to see it ourselves and drove to Thom's Pai Elephant Camp. When we arrived we immediately saw 2 elephants looking into our direction. We parked our motorbikes and walked up to them. The first thing that we both noticed was that these beautiful animals were chained. The look in their eyes was pure sadness. They did not have much space to walk around at all and they looked very agitated to be restricted in such a tight space and chained up. There was no water to be seen for them to drink. And no food unless tourists buy bananas to feed them.
That 1 hour we spend there was enough for us to make the decision to never be a part of this cruel money-making business. Seeing wild elephants being captured is devastating and heartbreaking. All elephants deserve to be living a free and save life.
The biggest problem of today is that no one really knows how cruel animal tourism is. Admire elephants from a distance instead of clambering all over them. Say no to animal cruelty in any way and stop paying for animal attractions. Do not believe their stories because their stories are based on lies. They earn money by abusing elephants and taking away their precious life. Because yes, every life is precious!
Knowing that this attraction is still #17 on "things to do" in Pai on TripAdvisor is pure madness and inexplicable.
Let Me Share Some Facts With You
Elephants are among the world's most intelligent animals. They have a strong desire to wander and explore the world. Just like any other traveller like you and I. But they are not as lucky as we are. They are used for entertainment and are often chained and closely confined. This leads to intense psychological distress, disorders and repetitive behaviours.
Most tourists visit elephant camps because they love animals. They end up paying to get up close to the animal. But the reality is heartbreaking. Behind the bright facades and all the clever tricks the elephant shows you is a lifetime of hidden abuse. And this is how tourists end up paying for animal cruelty.
Years of abuse, neglect, poor diet and loneliness are a couple factors that reduces the elephants' lifespan. Captive elephants only live half as long than elephants living in the wild.
Your once-in-a-lifetime elephant ride doesn't make you an animal lover, but more of a supporter for animal abuse.
Elephants are wild animals.
Please think again and say NO to animal tourist attractions!