If you're on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform and see a picture of what looks like someone having an unethical elephant encounter, please feel free to copy and post the message below to help educate them. The majority of people simply don't know the realities of what elephants go through, so taking time to educate rather than criticise or berate is always a more positive and encouraging way to approach these situations.
Hi, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, I saw your post and as an elephant lover, though you might like to know the reality about elephants used for entertainment.
Elephants used for riding, bathing, performing tricks or cultural or religious festivals have all been forcibly separated from their mothers as babies and put through a painful training programme called ‘The Crush’ (so-called as the aim is to crush their spirits to make them complaint.)
Many venues keep their elephants chained up for long periods of time, do not allow them time to forage and socialise as they would in the wild, continue to use pain as a training tool and don’t care for their elephants’ well-being. Although genuine sanctuaries may also allow some bathing or feeding, it is part of a wider enrichment programme; the emphasis is on the elephants’ well-being rather than entertainment for tourists.
Please also check out this list of ethical sanctuaries where elephants are not used to entertain tourists.
Thank you for reading and caring :)