“I have witnessed cruelty towards elephants in Asia before. Now, I came across a photograph of a baby elephant being tied up to a tree and beaten by two men with sticks.
This is a method to break the animal’s spirit and body and prepare it to be used for tourism purposes in Thailand.”
We, the undersigned, call on the government of Burma and Thailand to halt such brutality. We expect these governments to assign persons who will educate the individuals and their employers.
Also we wish the governments to send out a clear note to their tourist offices to inform tourists of the cruelty, so they would be conscious and no longer use services, involving previously tortured elephants.
Courtesy Brent Lewin / Redux Pictures
A baby elephant braces for a hit during a training session in a Karen village in Burma. The training session is coined the ‘crush’ as its goal is to break the elephant’s spirit. Wild elephants are typically tied up and beaten for 3 days straight and left to starve. Burmese Karen mahouts near the Thai border operate a clandestine and illegal trade network smuggling elephants into Thailand to be sold to mahouts for the Thai tourism industry. Officials estimate that 1 Burmese elephant is smuggled into Thailand every week.