What are elephant-friendly tourist venues
Thousands of elephants around the world are suffering in the name of tourism. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The best place to see elephants is in the wild. But if you’re going to visit an elephant venue, make sure it allows elephants to be elephants, while educating visitors on their complex needs.
A true elephant-friendly venue is purely observational for visitors, where the safety of visitors and wellbeing of elephants reduce the need to constantly interact and control the animals. They allow for social grouping of compatible elephants and try to provide access to natural habitat as much as possible to encourage expression of natural behaviours.
The elephants are managed in humane ways through a dedicated staff member known as a mahout, who allows a maximum of behavioural and spatial freedom.
The elephants are cared for through frequent health checks, adequate veterinary care, healthy amounts of exercise through incentivising movement, and adequate nutrition.
These venues also provide a safer work-environment that allows for professional self-development of the venue’s mahouts. Importantly they prevent the breeding of elephants to avoid more elephants being born into captivity and focus their resources on the wellbeing of elephants already in the industry.
Even with all the right information, it can still be difficult to find the right elephant-friendly venue. So we’ve got a checklist to help you make responsible decisions on your next holiday.
Sadly, for most elephants who are already part of the industry, being released back into the wild is not possible, so an elephant friendly camp is their best option.