Elephants are some of the most magnificent animals on the planet. When in the wild, they truly appear like creatures from another world, dazzling humans with their size and grace. “Cute” elephants on social media can be seen painting, swaying to music, frolicking at the beach, or in other unexpected places behaving in unexpected ways. And while these videos may seem great, they hide a dark reality. Chances are these unusual circumstances and performances were made possible because elephants were under duress, in a state of great depression, or being shown purely for the amusement of tourists to earn money for their captors.
And sadly, that’s exactly what is happening at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. The safari is forcing elephants to wash visitors cars. Yep, you read that right. The safari is making the elephants fill their trunks with soapy water, spray the cars, and then sponge the cars down. This experience costs $25 per wash, but the real cost is the elephant’s freedom. We have certainly never seen an elephant wash a car in the wild, so it’s safe to say this is not a natural act for them to do.
The elephants would not be washing cars if they weren’t being threatened with bull hooks. According to a petition on Care2, you can see in pictures and videos taken by visitors that the elephants are the car wash are monitored by park employees carrying bull hooks. These cruel devices (which have been banned in many states) are long rods with sharp hooks that are typically dug into the elephant’s soft skull or behind their ear. The elephants fear the pain of these hooks and therefore remain docile while interacting in totally unnatural situations. This is NOT okay!
Help stop this cruelty! Join 33,000 other elephant lovers in signing this petition demanding that the Wildlife Safari immediately end the elephant car washes.
Despite their frequent use as money-making props, elephants are extraordinarily complex animals. Elephants recognize themselves in a mirror, they comfort upset friends, and love being with their loved ones. Adding to this, elephants are highly endangered in the wild due to ivory poaching. Knowing this, we need to do everything in our power to protect elephants in their wild habitat – and stop abusing them for our own personal greed and interests.
Please speak up for elephants by signing this urgent petition and sending this post to your friends and family to do the same. No animals deserve to suffer for the sake of our trivial entertainment.
Image Source: YouTube