Elephants Don’t Surf! Pass it on…

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water - as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard... "Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!"

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water – as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard…
“Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!”

Seriously, have you ever been out surfing and had an elephant glide past you on a wave? I’ll bet all six of my toe rings that you haven’t. That’s because elephants don’t surf.

There’s a series of photos and videos that have been making their way around the net for far too long. They feature a baby elephant ‘playing’ in the surf. It looks all very cute, but it is a very wrong picture. So very wrong! The Mahout Foundation have put out a video that shows what goes into the training of baby elephants – the ones you see in these ‘Have you ever seen anything so cute?’ pics, the one’s that are still unfortunately left in circuses, the ones you buy bananas for on the streets in Bangkok and the ones apparently frolicking in the surf, amongst others. Continue reading

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Elephant Tourism – Fun for the Family. Now Ask the Elephants if it’s Fun…

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.

One of the elephants at the Surin roundup.

One of the elephants at the Surin roundup.

A close-up of his feet. This is what they look like after he's been made to walk on hard surfaces a lot.

A close-up of his feet. This is what they look like after he’s been made to walk on hard surfaces a lot.

Healthy elephant feet. This is what his feet Should look like. Imagine his pain...

Healthy elephant feet. This is what his feet Should look like. Imagine his pain…

Continue reading

Elephants on a Young New Zealand Traveler’s Blog – Please Read

I read this heart-rending post on the blog of a young New Zealand woman. Please read it and other posts on there, and share it around. It’s my wish that every tourist in the world refuses to attend elephant shows and riding parks and makes much more informed and ethical choices in the future. People like this young lady are making it happen.

Read her blog here

Thank you.

One giant step for pachyderm, half a dozen steps for mankind.

One giant step for pachyderm, half a dozen steps for mankind.

Elephants in the Street and How I Suck as a Westerner and a Tourist

I am guilty. And I was ignorant. I didn’t know.

This baby is so hungry she tried to latch onto a passing elephant she didn't know to suckle. Photo by Lek Chailert

This baby is so hungry she tried to latch onto a passing elephant she didn’t know to suckle.
Photo by Lek Chailert

I went to India four times before I saw my first real live elephant. At about 2 o’clock in the morning, in Pahar Ganj, a place bustling with people and traffic and street dogs and rubbish. I was so thrilled to finally see one that I didn’t stop to think that the poor thing was probably stressed out by the noise and traffic, and also probably just hanging out to get off the hard tarmac and go to bed. Continue reading