Environmentalists have been campaigning for a long time about the poor treatment of elephants in Thailand. Leaked videos show the brutality the young elephants face when they are being trained to perform at shows for tourists. Other elephants are forced to walk up and down hot and hard pavements all day carrying tourists. Not surprisingly, these former wild animals sometimes play up and attack the tourists. Originally I wanted to say that these incidents are rare and that tourists shouldn’t be worried. But, after another tourist was brutally killed at the weekend and her husband was badly injured by the same elephant, I feel it is time for foreign embassies to warn their citizens of the dangers and consequences of visiting elephant parks in Thailand. Both for the tourists and the elephants themselves.
A quick Google for “Elephant kills tourist Thailand” will give you many results. Here are just a few:
- Crazed Elephant Kills Thai Wife On Rayong Beach
- Berserk Elephant Kills Swiss Tourist, Injures Three In Phang Nga
- British tourist killed by performing elephant
- German Tourist, 52, Killed in Freak Accident While On Elephant Trek in Thailand
And there’s more than that. Some don’t even get into the papers as they try to hush it up. So, is it time to call an end to elephant tourism in Thailand or is it enough if foreign embassies updater their travel warnings for Thailand?