It’s not very often I write serious stuff on here, but every now and again I feel driven to do so, and I hope you readers will feel the same and spread this message around. The article below is about the Surin Roundup – an event that happens in the Surin province of Thailand, to commemorate both the importance of the Thai elephant and the local peoples’ important relationship with them. Involving 200 elephants or more, it’s large, loud, spectacular, and HELL for the elephants. Have a look at the pictures in the article, and in the links below it – the huge, sharp hooks used on the elephants’ sensitive skin, the barbed wire, the wounds marked out by a purple substance..
If you are thinking of going to Thailand, or elsewhere, and are wanting an elephant experience, please do some research and educate yourself before you do so. There are many situations involving elephants that also involve great unhappiness for them. Being made to walk on hard surfaces, being chained separately so they cannot touch each other, being hit and gouged with sharp instruments, being made to work very long hours in the hot sun, babies being made to beg rather than being at their mother’s side and suckling from her – it may be a happy and fun experience for you, but sadly it’s quite the opposite for the elephants.
Look around for places that allow their elephants room to roam, the ability to touch and cuddle with each other, and do not use the ankus – the large metal hook often utilized to control them. Places that don’t make them do demeaning tricks, such as beg or paint pictures. The more we support places that treat their elephants in an ethical manner, the sooner other elephant owners will see that that’s where the tourists are going and hopefully they will change their ways and take a more ethical route also.
Ask your travel agent to seek these places for you as well. Let’s bring awareness to travel agents, who probably haven’t had this brought to their attention, and help them to help others make more ethical choices as well.
It may seem small, but every little thing we can do to help the elephants will add up to big things for them. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please spread it around so that others can make more informed choices too. We can all make a difference to the lives of these beautiful elephants.