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A visitor at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle recently saw an elephant holding a bullhook with his or her trunk.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle—a "luxury camp" in Thailand—uses endangered Asian elephants as tourist attractions. While the facility claims that it rehabilitates abused elephants, those held captive at Golden Triangle are still forced to give rides. In nature, animals don't carry people on their backs. Continuing to offer rides and other direct-contact activities while simultaneously claiming to be a place of refuge is contradictory and drives demand for an abusive industry that uses violence and domination to force elephants into subservience.
A visitor also saw an elephant shackled with chains.
Elephants who are used for rides are typically trained as babies in a process called phajaan, in which their spirits are crushed. Video footage obtained by PETA shows that still-nursing babies are dragged away from their mothers, kicking and screaming. They're lassoed and bound with ropes, immobilized in wooden boxes, beaten mercilessly, and gouged with bullhooks, nail-studded sticks, or other weapons—sometimes for days on end. These ritualized "training" sessions leave them badly injured and traumatized, and reportedly, up to half of baby elephants don't survive the process.