This issue is still as relevant today as when I wrote about it two years ago.
While in northern Thailand I signed up to volunteer for a week at an elephant park. I had done a little research and decided this looked the best one in the area, but I was little prepared for the education I was about to receive concerning the treatment of these creatures in Asia. I’m sure most people think riding an elephant would be a really cool thing to do, totally oblivious to the history of the elephants or the unbelievably cruel training they will usually have undergone to ‘break’ them.
The Elephant Nature Park (www.elephantnaturepark.org) is one of only a few places in Thailand that allow rescued elephants to live a natural life. They do not give rides, they do not perform tricks and they certainly do not work in any way. To me it seemed something of a retirement home…
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