Exhausted elephants continue to be forced to perform underwater tricks at a zoo in Thailand. The disturbing footage has gone viral sparking outrage among animal advocates throughout the world.
According to the Daily Mail, elephant trainers at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo use inhumane training techniques. The handlers use a process called “phajaan” (the crush) where the elephants are beaten into submission. The same cruel techniques have been historically used training elephants to carry guests and visitors for the growing tourist trade.
In the video, one elephant is made to prance around a huge tank while bobbing her head in and out of the water. Trainers sit on the animal’s neck while pulling their ears, poking them and yelling commands. Last month, World Animal News tweeted a video and said that an elephant forced to perform a swimming show and had been hurt by a mahout.
Animal protection organizations have condemned the zoo and have encouraged advocates to give negative reviews on the website TripAdvisor. According to the Zoo’s website, the show has been going on since 2016 with performances twice a day. In response to the criticism, Zoo director Attaporn Sriheran stated the water show provided exercise for the elephants and that other pools had been made specifically for the elephants to swim where visitors could observe their behavior.
And now a campaign has been started to put an end to the shows. More than 132, 000 signatures will be taken to Chon buri officials asking to stop the shows.
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