3. BREAKING AFRICA’S ELEPHANTS
Exposing the rise of cruel elephant tourism.
The appalling cruelty inflicted on Asian elephants over decades to meet growing demands from the tourism industry for elephant rides and shows is now spreading throughout southern Africa. If left unchecked hundreds more African elephants will face lifetimes of cruelty and abuse for tourist entertainment.1
Most tourists go on elephant rides because they love elephants. They don’t know about the intense physical and psychological pain involved. They will not be told that baby elephants are cruelly taken from their mothers, and their spirits harshly broken for training to give rides and perform tricks for tourists.
And after breaking there is no end to their suffering.
Captive elephants used in profit-making entertainment rides can endure horrendous captive conditions for decades. These include chaining and close confinement, loneliness and isolation from other elephants – with whom they would naturally form bonds – and deprivation of food and water.
This report exposes the level of abuse being inflicted on hundreds of these magnificent animals in Southern Africa. It highlights how tourists and tour operators can stop tourist rides in their tracks before it’s too late.
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- 2 Sieff, K (2015). Zimbabweans Alarmed By Deal That Could See Hundreds Of Elephants Shipped To China. National Post. August 26th 2015 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://news. nationalpost.com/news/world/deal-that-could-see-hundreds-of-elephants-shipped-to-china- worries-zimbabweans [Accessed 3rd September 2015].
- 3 Russo, C (2015). Undercover Photos: Plight of Zimbabwe’s Captured Baby Elephants. March 9th 2015 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150309- baby-elephants-zimbabwe-export-mugabe-wildlife-trafficking/ [Accessed 8th September 2015].
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- 6 Bradshaw et al (2005). Elephant Breakdown. Nature. 433 pp 807
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- 14 Blanc, J. J., Barnes, R. F. W., Craig, G. C., Dublin, H. T., Thouless, C. R., Douglas-Hamilton, I.and Hart, J. A. 2007. African Elephant Status Report 2007: An update from the African ElephantDatabase. SSC Occasional Paper Series 33. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
- 15 CITES Secretariat, IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group and TRAFFIC International.(2013). Status of African elephant populations and levels of illegal killing and the illegal trade in ivory: A report to the African Elephant Summit. December 2013. Available at: https://cmsdata. iucn.org/downloads/african_elephant_summit_background_document_2013_en.pdf
Image Credit: Hazeyview Elephant Sanctuary