Elephants in shows are a growing attraction for tourists in Thailand. They range from grand performances on a large scale featuring many Elephants to a tiny show with one baby Elephant in trekking camps and everything in between.
Training to perform tricks is harsh involving beatings with hooks and nails, the Elephant will have learnt to fear the hooks and nails when they are used for the performance.
During the shows the Elephants will be controlled with the hooks and nails to force them to perform whatever trick they are being told to do.
Tricks such as painting, playing basketball, playing musical instruments, playing football, dancing, twirling hula hoops on their trunks, sitting on their bottoms, standing on small platforms, standing on two legs are all common place. Doing head stands, riding bikes and even tight rope walking are also now becoming popular.
Elephants performing in this way leads to physical and psychological trauma and is so demeaning for such an intelligent animal, not to mention the abuse endured in the training.
Please look for signs of depression, dead looking eyes, swaying from side to side. Look for wounds, scratches and holes on their bodies.
The best advice for tourists is to avoid these shows completely, if tourists show no interest or disgust in these practices they will stop. While tourists continue to clap and cheer the shows and the abuse will continue.
PLEASE SPEAK OUT AND WARN OTHER TRAVELLERS TO NOT ATTEND THE SHOWS.