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
Where can I find out more?
Watch Tyke the Elephant Outlaw to find out more about elephants in circuses and watch Love and Bananas to find out more about elephants involved in tourist trekking and logging.