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Even though dozens of travel companies around the world stopped offering elephant rides long ago, some tour operators continue to promote these abusive activities as part of their tours, even after learning of the cruelty and human safety risks involved. Please help PETA urge them to join the long list of compassionate companies that have committed to not offering activities that exploit elephants, including Alexander+Roberts, Collette, Intrepid Travel, Ker & Downey, STA Travel, TripAdvisor, VegVoyages, and others.
Elephants used in the tourism industry for rides and other direct-contact experiences are often forcibly separated from their mothers as babies, tied down, beaten mercilessly, and gouged with sharp weapons. At some camps, mahouts (handlers) wave flaming sticks in their faces to terrify them. These cruel "training" sessions—during which they're commonly deprived of even their most basic necessities, including food and water—can last for days and typically leave them injured and traumatized. Those who survive will spend the rest of their lives in forced servitude, lugging tourists on their backs—even in sweltering heat or when they're exhausted and often while they're draped in chains—all while being jabbed and pulled with weapons such as bullhooks. These gentle, intelligent animals are condemned to a life of abuse so that travelers can have a few fleeting moments of entertainment.
Elephant rides are unpredictable and pose a significant danger to the public, too. Just last year, a man vacationing in Thailand was gored and trampled to death in front of his daughter—and this is only one of dozens of deadly incidents involving captive elephants. Elephants throughout Asia are also known to carry tuberculosis, a highly transmissible and deadly disease that can be spread between elephants and humans.
Please send an email to the Director of Operations at SITA World Tours, Max Aly, at [email protected]. Then, use the form below to message other companies to speak up for abused, exploited elephants today by urging the few companies that still offer elephant rides to catch up to their competitors and stop endorsing abuse.