Veterinarian asks to stop elephant-riding tourism

Riding elephants as a tourism activity is cruel to the animals, said Tran Khac Mai, a veterinarian.v

In July, 2019, two old and weak elephants will be released to the wild. This was the result of an agreement between the Asian Animal Organization and Anh Duong Company (Buon Don, Dak Lak provivnce).

Veterinarian asks to stop elephant-riding tourism



Under the agreement, the former will pay the elephants’ owner in exchange for the right to bring the two female elephants, P’Lu, 60, and Bun Kon, 37, of Anh Duong Company to Yok Don National Park.

In the park, the elephants will have better lives and will not have to carry tourists on their backs. The new living conditions will help them live longer and increase fertility, thus avoiding the risk of Dak Lak elephant extinction.

In the park, the elephants will have better lives and will not have to carry tourists on their backs. The new living conditions will help them live longer and increase fertility, thus avoiding the risk of Dak Lak elephant extinction.

 One month before, Asia for Animals (AfA) sent a letter to the Khanh Hoa Forest Rangers’ Unit to ask for an investigation about the use of elephants on Hoa Lan Island for circus performances.

 


At many tourist sites, animals are still used to serve tourists and variety shows, causing mental and physical injuries to the elephants.

Mai, in his article published in Phap Luat Viet Nam, said he saw sad elephants carrying big howdahs on their backs, moving slowly on an empty road. Sometimes, they were hooked and knocked with sticks when they wanted to stop or walk more slowly.

“What did the travelers waiting for their turns to ride elephants think when they accepted big amounts of money?” Mai said.

“As a veterinarian, I know for sure that no elephant would, with howdahs on their backs, go through green trees and grass, carrying unfamiliar people. Whips from mahouts force the elephants to ‘forget’ their natural habits and become resigned to serve people in exchange for meals. They have a boring and lonely life in tourist sites until their end of life,” he wrote.

Lucky elephants have opportunities to be transferred to zoos or rescue centers where they can receive better care and nutrients. However, they still do not have full freedom, green forests or their own habitat.

Elephants' sensitive skin increases the feeling of pain when hit by whips and iron hooks.

Having four big bulky legs, elephants bear big weight, and often suffer from injuries on their soles, especially when they have to move on tough roads. 

Thien Nhien

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Tourism elephants released into national park

Tourism elephants released into national park

Authorities in Dak Lak Province have released two elephants which were used in the tourism industry.  

 
 
 
 
 
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