Ask your guide: do the elephants perform unnatural tricks?

Playing musical instruments, bike riding, painting, tight-rope walking, dancing, and even elephant massages are all offered in tourist camps throughout Asia.

 

None of these activities mimic natural behaviour and can be detrimental to an elephant's mental and physical health. 

Tight-rope walking, bike riding and dancing can cause bone disorders and foot injury, leaving elephants disabled. The training methods behind the repeated, demanding shows can cause stress and mental impairment.

 

All working elephants went through some form of 'The Crush' as youngsters in order for humans to gain control of the their spirit. Thereafter, negative reinforcement training is used throughout the elephants life when unnatural behaviours are wanted to entertain tourists.

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