Awareness on Elephant Riding

Over the summer I went to Thailand with my whole family. Most people when they head to Thailand usually want to ride the elephants because it’s something not many people can do and it’s one of Thailand’s main attractions. My family and I also planned to go ride elephants.

We headed to the receptionist and the lady handed us a brochure on everything we could see and do and yes elephant riding was on there. In fact, there were many tours that had to do with elephant riding. I decided to research them and see which one was the best. I headed to the hotel room, ran to my computer and searched elephant riding in Phuket, Thailand. Immediately a bunch of websites popped up. I scrolled down and saw a website which said “STOP ELEPHANT RIDING’ I clicked on it as it immediately caught my attention and started reading, by the time I was done I was almost at the point of crying.

Elephant riding in Thailand and all over the world should be illegal. The elephant is taken away at a very young age and put in a cage where they can’t even move. In these cages, they are tortured horribly. They get hit with metal hooks until the animal is broken. Once the animal is broken and it’s been trained so that people can ride on them they take terribly long shifts for tourists to ride. They don’t get water between any of these shifts and rarely receive any food. After the tourist has left the animals are mistreated. They’re usually abused and deprived of any food or water. Many have infections because of the damage the metal hook does to these elephants.

At the bottom of the article there were websites to help these elephants. One of the websites was called “The green elephant sanctuary”. This sanctuary offered a tour, so instead of going to ride elephants, I decided to book this tour. We arrived very early in the morning and met with the staff were they explained a little about the elephants that they had in this sanctuary. All the elephants that they had were rescued from elephant riding facilities and brought to the sanctuary to rehabilitate. We then went to meet the elephants where we were able to feed bananas and apples to them and had a lovely time. Afterward we all jumped into a huge mud bath with the elephants and gave them a good massage and later washed ourselves and the elephants with some fresh water. This experience was unforgettable. Not many people are aware of the harm that elephants receive when tourists want to ride them. Many are unaware which is why this industry is so popular.

Gwyndoline Tingey

Gwyndoline is a 12th grader. She is a photographer for the Newspaper team. She loves cheerleading.

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