Animal advocates from across the world were up in arms after photos surfaced of party-goers hanging out with a baby Asian elephant at Nikki’s Beach Club in Phuket, Thailand.
The photos featured bikini-clad models riding the elephant around the party, people waiting in line to be sprayed with water from the elephant’s trunk, and at one point the baby elephant was captured serving champagne as a man proposed to his girlfriend. Although elephants are native to Thailand, suffice it to say this club is not an appropriate environment for any sort of wild animal (the non-human kind, of course).
Luckily, rather than applauding Nikki Beach Club for their creativity or innovation for bringing in a live elephant for fun, people were just plain disgusted by this choice – with good reason! Not only are Asian elephants an endangered species, but the little elephant, who was documented with inebriated guests, was likely taken from its mother at a young age and tortured and abused until it learned to be submissive to humans. Hardly the “party-loving” animal that club attendees imagined.
But thanks to the endless stream of comments condemning their extreme lack of care for this elephant, Nikki Beach Club has officially announced that they will never feature a live elephant in the club again!
After days of silence, Nikki Beach Club Phuket wrote on their social media pages:
“We would like to make it clear that we do not, have not and will never own an elephant. The elephant in the photo is from a reputable elephant caretaker who has no affiliation with Nikki Beach. With the above said, we understand that this has upset many of our customers and animal advocates around the world, so effective immediately, we will stop granting the requests for elephants at Nikki Beach Phuket. The Nikki Beach family will never stand for the mistreatment of animals.”
This is quite the amazing victory for animals, and it was all made possible by Green Monsters just like you!
Although getting the chance to hang out with an elephant while living it up at a club might sound like an awesome opportunity, it is up to all of us to be conscious of the cost at which this chance comes. The little elephant featured at Nikki Beach Club is only one of thousands that are abused and exploited every single day to entertain people. These animals do not exist for our enjoyment; they deserve to lead the lives that nature intended, free from bonds and chains, and certainly free from drunken party guests.
Image source: Shankar/Flickr