Elephants never forget their suffering for entertainment

Elephants never forget their suffering for entertainment


Appalling cruelty is being inflicted on Indian elephants for tourist rides and shows.

The issue even has the attention of the Indian Supreme Court, which may imminently pass a ban on elephant rides in Goa and Rajasthan. If it does, this will directly impact elephants at tourist attraction Amber Fort in Rajasthan (known locally as Amer Fort). It is visited by more than 5,000 people every day, and over 100 elephants are forced to give rides.

Main welfare concerns at Amber Fort:

  • Young elephants suffer an extremely cruel and intensive breaking-in process to make them submissive enough to perform and give rides.
  • The use of pointed metal bull hooks, wooden battens, and whips on elephants causes severe pain.
  • Most elephants at Amber Fort suffer health problems including issues with their foot pads, abscessed eyes and severe wounds from the seat on their backs.
  • Elephants are often not fed properly. They are given chapatti and sugar canes. Too much of this is bad for them.
  • Many elephants are reported to have insufficient or non-existent provision for water.

TripAdvisor, the largest travel site in the world, with its 2015 income reaching almost $1.5bn, has an immense influence on the tourism industry. But it continues to promote and sell tickets via its subsidiary Viator, to the world’s cruellest wildlife entertainment attractions, like elephant rides at Amber Fort. Over half a million people have signed our petition asking the 'world's largest travel site' TripAdvisor stops profiting from such cruel attraction.

More voices for wildlife

Most tourists take an elephant ride because they understandably love elephants. Many of them are unaware of the intense physical and psychological pain involved.

Captive elephants at tourist attractions such as Amber Fort endure horrendous conditions for decades, this includes chaining and close confinement, loneliness and isolation, and food and water depravation. If and when they are free of it, their suffering stays with them for the rest of their lives through emotional and physical wounds, as well as the lasting effects of having not behaved as they would have done in the wild. Put simply - these elephants never forget.

We're continuing to expose the abuse inflicted on thousands of these magnificent animals in India and across the world. Tourists and travel companies such as TripAdvisor can stop elephant rides in their tracks before it’s too late.

What you can do

World Animal Protection has a long history campaigning to end the use of wild animals for entertainment. Over the past few years more than 100 travel companies across the world committed to no longer sell and promote venues that offer elephant rides and shows to their customers. You can see the full list here.

We will continue to expose the suffering of wild animals in entertainment and look to educate the four million tourists who visit wildlife tourist attractions every year.

We now want TripAdvisor to recognise the huge opportunity to help protect the 550,000 wild animals suffering at the hands of irresponsible tourist venues. With 300 million website visitors per month its influence is immense. The company now needs to take a bigger step, and do what is right for wild animals.

Over half a million people have signed our petition. Join them today.

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