Elephant Riding

Are all kinds of elephant riding unethical?

Unlike a horse, an elephant’s spinal structure is not built for carrying a load. Any form of riding from bare back to using a howdah, a wooden or metal seating frame, is uncomfortable and damaging to the physiology of elephants.

Why is riding elephants so bad?

  • Elephants are trained using “Phajaan” which is a training method based around negative reinforcement
  • Elephants are whacked in their most sensitive areas with “bull hooks” which are spears with hooks on the end
  • To perform in shows and circuses, elephants may be subjected to million volt shocks in order to get them to stand on their front feet
  • Elephants are worked beyond exhaustion, some even having to see tourists even if they are dangerous

What is a better way to see elephants?

  • National parks
  • Ethical sanctuaries
  • Road sides
  • Safaris

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