In our Taken for a ride report, we document the findings from our investigations into the living conditions of elephants used in tourism in Asia.
Every day, elephants suffer in the name of entertainment
For elephants trapped in the tourism industry, the trauma begins at a young age. Baby elephants are taken from their mothers and forced through a cruel training process known as Phajaan or ‘the crush’.
This brutal practice involves physical restraints, inflicting pain and withholding food and water. This can go on for several days to weeks, when the elephants are just a few years old.
By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, its spirit has been broken. The bullhook, a pointy and sharp metal hook which is attached to a long, usually wooden handle, is always kept close to remind the elephant of the punishment for disobedience.
Help break the chain of cruelty
The most important thing you can do is never ride an elephant or attend a show with elephants. Instead, view rescued elephants in a sanctuary, where their welfare is a priority, or in the wild from a safe distance. Take our pledge and commit to never participate in elephant cruelty.
By taking our pledge, you will also help us influence more travel companies and tour operators to stop promoting attractions that profit from elephant cruelty.
Thanks to our supporters, more than 215 global travel companies have committed to stop promoting and selling elephant rides and shows. With your pledge, we will influence even more travel companies to join our elephant-friendly movement.
Pledge to be elephant-friendly
Tourist demand for elephant rides and shows is driving these cruel activities. Elephants are suffering and it's completely unnecessary. We have the power to change this.
I stand with World Animal Protection and commit to never ride an elephant or attend a show where elephants are forced to perform.