To my dismay, I read an article on Elephant Trekking in Chiang Mai and so feel I must follow up the article of Elephant Abuse and hope, that after reading this, you the public will discourage friends and relatives from going on elephant treks and giving money to the owners of these poor creatures no matter how cute the babies in order to stop this cruelty. If the owners cannot earn money by selling the elephant’s service then they would have to look for alternative means and hopefully selling the elephants.
This particular article concerned a back packer on a 3 day elephant trek through the Doi Inthanon National Park, who repeatedly asked the tour guide if the elephants were happy and well treated and was given his assurance that they were.
Her first impressions did not go down well, when she saw a very young baby with 6 feet of chain connecting her to her mother’s neck. The mother sported numerous large purple marks on her head with a very noticeable wound in the middle. On enquiring about the purple marks and wounds, she was told by her guide they were caused by insect bites.
Seen in Mea Ping Elephant Village, Chiangmai, elephants with open wounds on their head caused by a bull-hook (a fast investigation showed me at least seven open wounds on one elephant and a baby with a big and clear scar, clearly caused by chaining. Furthermore an elephant with a big bold area which he was frequently scratching with his trunk. Might be an (or more!) infected, not treated, bull-hook wound.
I noticed that not all mahouts are owner of an elephant but in service of somebody or a company owing lots of elephants. There must be mahouts not having any feeling for the animal as it isn’t his. Like he is using a company-car. They are paid 200 Baht (around 4 Euro) per day and hopes at a (generous) tip from the trekking-tourists.
A statement: “MOST ELEPHANT OWNERS WERE POLITICIENS AND OTHER PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE”
“DAMN it; LISTEN to me, DO what I say!!!!!”
Just passing their time
Photos copyright Antoni P. Uni
Location: Mea Ping Elephant Village, Chiangmai