Outrage as elephants are forced to do underwater tricks for tourists in Thailand sparking huge online petition to end the practice.
Elephants are ‘beaten’ as part of their training to perform swimming stunts for holidaymakers.
EXHAUSTED elephants are being forced to perform underwater tricks for gawping tourists in Thailand, sparking outrage among animal rights campaigners.
The distressing footage shows the majestic creatures being forced to swim by keepers at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo.
During one of their performances, one elephant is made to prance around a tank while bobbing her head in and out of the water – much to the delight of the giggling audience.
Their trainers sit on their necks as they plunge in and out of the water, tugging at their ears, prodding them and shouting commands.
In reaction to the heartbreaking video, a campaign was started to put an end to the elephant shows.
It has collected 132,433 signatures and will be presented to Chon Buri officials.
The petition, which has been shared on Facebook, has spurred a mixture of reactions.
One woman wrote: “Actually elephants like to swim.”
This created outrage by other users, who pointed out that elephants shouldn’t be forced to swim for entertainment.
Another user replied: “This elephant isn’t swimming for its own pleasure, it’s being forced to perform. Big difference.”
According to the campaign website, the trainers use cruel techniques to make sure the animals do as they say.
The process, known as “phajaan,” actually translates to “the crush” during which handlers beat animals into submission so that they will be docile for the public.
The gentle giants have historically been the victims of exploitation and cruelty within the tourism industry, with elephant rides still being a favourite holiday activity.
Another person wrote: “There is no end to the human exploitation of animals. Makes me sick.”
While another said: “It looks like they are trying to drown the animal.
“How is that struggling entertaining?”
In contrast, one man wrote: “Horse riding/racing acceptable?
“Keeping fish in a fish tank, hamsters in a cage.
“All that stuff is abusing animals if you chose to look at it that way.
“If you don’t like it, look the other way.”
Source : thesun