Elephants are not meant to entertain you!

“I love animals and before we went to Thailand we researched the best sanctuaries to make sure the animals were well treated and the money was going to the right place. The day after we visited the reserve we decided to go to the Zoo in Bangkok, the place was close by and I didn’t care enough to read the reviews. We were already inside when we realised they still do animal shows. We were just walking around and this elephant came out with his owner to a space of half a tennis field surrounded by strong fences. The man was holding a hook around the elephant’s neck and dragged it around to do all sorts of tricks. You could see in the elephant’s lifeless eyes that it was just a routine it has done thousands of times before… It was already a shocking experience but the worst part was seeing people’s reaction to the whole scene, or I mean, the lack of reaction. I was actually looking around for a single person who felt horrified like me. There were tourists from all over the world queuing up and giving money to this man to hop on the back of the elephant and to take a selfie. These people didn’t give a single shit about something that was so obviously wrong… I literally burst into tears and left the place. It was so eye-opening for me and I’d like to use this opportunity to reach out to people and ask them to research places before they go. It is our responsibility to ensure animals are treated well and ignorance or just being quiet about it is not a solution. If you pay a fiver to have a selfie with an elephant you also need to think about how much the elephant has to pay for the same picture… Elephants don’t enjoy doing tricks, they don’t like playing football or standing and balancing on a small stool. Elephants are not meant to entertain you! Simple as that. The only way to change this is by taking a little responsibility and doing the research to exclude these places from your plans.”