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At One Green Planet, we are committed to providing information to our readers that will help them make informed decisions about their humane and green lifestyle. That’s why, when it was brought to our attention that our recent video post “Adorable Baby Elephant Goes for a Swim” was contributing to animal exploitation, we listened to our Green Monsters and did our homework. As it turns out, watching baby elephants play in the surf isn’t as innocent as it sounds.

Sarah Blaine of Mahouts.org explains it like this, “[Baby elephants] are forced into the sea to amuse tourists and a nail is used to make them comply.

What she is referring to is an actual nail, concealed in the hand of the Mahout, which is repeatedly pierced into the baby elephant’s ear. To the tourist, it looks like the baby elephant is being guided, when in fact the baby is being stabbed into submission.

Mahouts Elephant NailPhoto courtesy of Mahouts.org

Evidence of this can be seen in a video below produced by Mahouts.org. This is the kind of video that should be shared and circulated. It is the truth behind the videos of baby elephants playing in the sea.

Saving Asian Elephants

Mahouts.org was founded by a family of four in loving memory of Somsri, a 70-year-old elephant whose life at Boon Lotts Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) was cut short, due to her 70 previous years of pain and suffering. Fortunately, she was able to enjoy a couple of weeks of freedom before she died.

Organizations like Mahouts, BLES, SaveElephant.org, and Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival Foundation (EARS) are working hard to end the use of elephants for entertainment purposes in the Asian tourist industry. They are doing so by raising awareness about elephants in the tourism industry, teaching mahouts about other ways of earning livings, and providing sanctuary space for elephants.

Five Reasons These Baby Elephant Videos Are Cruel

Here are five reasons, according to SaveElephant.org, why videos of baby elephants “playing” on the beach are cruel:

  1. The elephants are not doing this activity voluntarily.
  2. Salt water is not good for elephants.
  3. The beach environment is unsuitable for them as there are no shaded areas.
  4. The baby elephant has been separated (usually captured) from its family.
  5. The baby elephant is being forced to work and will eventually end up begging in the streets and/or end up in a trekking camp.

Once an elephant reaches the age of three, they are no longer deemed “cute” for display. They are then forced into a life of begging in the streets with their mahouts, are not fed properly, and suffer greatly. When they reach the age of eight, they end up in trekking camps, where tourists ride them through the jungles. Elephants have fragile spines and are not meant to carry weight on their backs. As a result, many elephants end up with back problems and even broken backs!

How You Can Help

The Asian Elephant might seem too far away to help, but there are several ways to get involved:

Lead image source: Wikipedia Commons

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52 comments on “Why You Should Never Share or Like These Baby Elephant Videos”

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7 Months Ago

Where are the world\'s billionaires? I did the math: a baby elephant is worth $48,000 U.S.D., and there are 3,000 captive elephants in Thailand. Therefore; $48,000 x 3,000 elephants = $144,000,000 ($144 million dollars). It would be nothing for a Walton (Walmart), or Gates, or Bezos, or Zuckerberg, or Musk, etc. Any one or group of them could (in theory) buy all the elephants in Thailand and set them free. What is the hold up fich folks?

3 Years Ago

Look regarding the video with the baby elephant in the sea...he is in the sea ALONE, there is nobody to prick his ear, to pretend to be happy...that baby elephant is not tortured by anybody in the water.,...and why don;\\\'t you try to contact the woman who first posted the video on You Tube... "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/baby-elephant-ocean_n_3422654.html
And there is another article about a baby elephant playing in the sands...is that one tortured too ? also in Thailand, and it could be the same one...http://boredomtherapy.com/baby-elephant-on-the-beach/ Now, how can anybody train an animals to "pretend to enjoy playing in the water " ?????? when elephants love water and do swim ?

12 Jun 2015

They like rivers and they would never normally be away from their mothers. These elephants will probably be relieved that they are off the streets for a short while but to get them to that point they are routinely abused. Remember they are wild animals and would not do these things naturally. I suggest you look up Elephant Nature Park and read about them. Educate yourself.

12 Jun 2015

It has also been confirmed that the mahout can be heard in the background. So please listen to others who are more knowledgeable.baby elephants would be never be on their own on a beach.

28 Jun 2015

That is not true, his handler is with him/her, baby elephants just do not show up at the sea shore so how did he/she get there?

Kevin Dunn
3 Years Ago

I am going to share every animal video that has abuse in it as many times as I can.

Jill Strehl
3 Years Ago

I did not know about this - I am sharing this story now. How evil.

Patricia Yager Delagrange
3 Years Ago

Wonderful post and very informative. Thank you for telling us about this cruelty to baby eles.

4 Years Ago

And this headline sounds like so much PETA crap! The truth is never as good to them as the crap they make up to get attention which must translate to big bucks for somebody. Why else would they dish out such lies? Do you really think the joy depicted in these baby elephants translates to being forced to perform for YouTube videos? Common sense people!!! In reality as I know it, these animals are too valuable to their owners livelihood to abuse them! Go after the poachers where we really need to see a difference!

Jody Stickney
17 Dec 2014

You have so much to learn about elephants and their owners, all of it heart breakingly sad.
Performing elephants and elephants that are killed for their ivory for instance, two separate problems.

23 Feb 2015

Sophie...it is six months since you posted your comment. I hope you have been able to research the treatment of elephants in Asia...specifically, the term "Phajaan" and the horrendous cruelty these animals go through, so that they can entertain tourists.. The poachers are another problem and a dire one. But the training methods for performing animals (including circuses) is NOTHING but cruel with NO enjoyment whatsoever for the animals. Common sense, Sophie.

4 Years Ago

•You can purchase ethically made gifts that support the mahouts and their families who are trying to make a difference for the elephants, as well as the elephants.

This makes me question the information on this site. My money will go to the sanctuaries before it goes to the mahouts. They are the ones perfroming the cruel acts and yet this claims they are trying to make a difference for the elephants. They need to fix up their message here to help explain how we should support them by buying the mahouts\' ethical products when they themselves are not holding to ethical standards in the treatment of animals

Sarah Blaine
05 May 2014

Hi Monique, I am Sarah Blaine from Mahouts Foundation. We are a family run UK based foundation. We started in trekking camps and we have many friends who are Mahouts and care very well for their Elephants. On our fair trade website we have a not for profit section, the money raised here goes back to Boon Lotts Elephant Sanctuary to help the Elephants. They have Mahouts working there too to care for every Elephant. Not all Mahouts are bad people and they don\'t always hurt their Elephants. Mostly the Mahouts own the Elephants so they do have to be a part of any long term solution. If we can educate the tourists visiting the situation will change for better welfare for the Elephants. Please contact me if you need any more info; [email protected] OR [email protected] Its a complicated situation but we do our very best to help the Elephants.

Sarah Blaine
05 May 2014

Hi Monique, can you email me please and I will reply ...... I am Sarah from Mahouts Foundation,

[email protected]
[email protected]

Linda Wark
20 Sep 2014

Sarah Blaine, are you training new compassionate methods for mahouts? or are they still using sticks etc? What is the purpose of your Foundation?

4 Years Ago

This makes me sick and sad! I hope the elephants stomp and destroy the bad people who hurt them! I wish I could take all the elephants in this world and put them in a safe place. This HAS to be stopped!

Claire Nutton
4 Years Ago

4 Years Ago

Thank you for making this known. I was one who didn\'t realize the horrors behind these scenes. So very sad.


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