There’s nothing entertaining about the way that elephants end up performing tricks. It’s completely unnatural behavior for them. Firstly, they are taken from the wild to live in captivity and then put through the terrible soul-crushing process called phajaan. They are threatened and abused into performing the tricks that audiences find “fun.” In the wild, elephants live in large herds where they can roam and walk many, many miles each day. They would also graze and eat a lot, not be starved in order to be food motivated to perform tricks. Elephants are also very family-oriented and have strong social bonds with their herd and fellow elephants. But in captivity, they are often kept alone. They begin to develop zoochosis and exhibit strange behavior.
The elephants at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri, Thailand are not only kept in captivity, but they are forced to perform certain tricks underwater. A video of one of their elephant water performances shows an elephant being made to prance around a tank and bob her head above and below the surface. She then has to plunge to the bottom and do some tricks before going up for air, all the while she’s mounted by her ‘trainer.’
This zoo is just exploiting the elephants, forcing them to perform for profit and entertainment. It’s bad enough that zoos keep elephants in captivity, but to also force them to perform unnaturally like this is cruel.
Sign this petition demanding that Chon Buri officials shut down this zoo and hand over the elephants to a sanctuary.
Sign these other similar petitions to help elephants:
- Save Elephants from Cruel and Exploitative Guruvayur Temple
- Rescue Suman, a Young Elephant in Horrible Trouble
- Ask Travel Publisher, Fodor’s, to Stop Promoting Elephant Captivity
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