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Thailand forum

Tourists: ignore the begging elephants in the cities and don't buy food please!

Posted by mistifarang on 18/7/2008 at 14:18

The begging elephants are getting in the street-scene of Bangkok (and other towns) again more and more common unfortunately. This abuse is against the Thai law but this law has not been enforced in a proper way. One of the reasons is that, when the authorities are coming into action the mahouts are getting besurk, going very far in that.
The poor Elephants are suffering day-in-day-out under abnormal circumstances, sometimes they are not fed well resulting in food-poisening, stress of noises and all kinds of light, dust and exhaust-gases from the (almost always present heavy) traffic.
Roaming half on roads and half on pavements must be a hell; pavements mostly are very narrow, overcrowded and in a very bad condition: narrow passes, high steps which are even for pedestrians not easy to use, bad leveled, motorbikes driving on the pavement, not, bad or partly covered manholes, you name it and you find it: definit NOT made to stroll around city-roads!
The creatures are many hours roaming around (I estimate 6-8 hours) only with a drink out-of a local fountain or something like that. No bath can be taken even hosing with water is unavailable.
After a hell of a working-day they are, in the middle of the night, brought to their hide-out, an abandoned plot somewhere in or near the city.
Accidents (lories, cars, glass etc.) are not rare and sometimes the Elephant is getting out of its mind (can caused by a lot of reasons) and the peaceful and accepting creature turns into a not to stop fury, starting to make a rampage. For that reason “difficult” elephants will be drugged by the mahout to prevent accidents as much as possible. Sometimes, when a specialized team with a vet is available, it can be calmed down by an injection but I have seen also a press-photo of an Elephant gunned down in the middle of Bangkok by the police: no vet available and the poor animal got a big thread for its surroundings.
Wounded and confiscated elephants will be treated with the help of action-groups.
“We often call the Elephant the gentle giant, but we should be ever mindful that Elephants are wild animals, and can exhibit behavior you should be aware of when around them”: what I did not know about elephants
My demand to everybody is to help the action-groups and to boycott the mahouts selling food one can offer the Elephants.
more info:

#1 mistifarang has been a member since 25/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 3

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