A captive elephant has left a tourist badly injured in Amer Fort, highlighting the dangers of captive elephant attractions.


Captive elephants in Amer Fort are made to work long hours and entertain tourists, which can lead to frustrated and dangerous outbursts.

A video released online has shown how a captive elephant has left a tourist badly injured in Amer Fort, India.

The video, shared by various news outlets, shows an elephant named Gouri pick up and throw a Russian tourist to the ground, which resulted in a broken leg.

Gouri, also known as No. 86, allegedly attacked a shopkeeper in October 2022.

Elephants in Amer Fort are known to be used for tourist attractions such as elephant rides. Poor animal welfare and harsh conditions can lead to frustrated and aggressive outbursts, resulting in incidents and injuries to the public.

However, many tourists are unaware of the dangers and cruelty involved in animal entertainment, meaning they are still partaking in harmful activities.

Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach, Head of Animal Welfare, said:

"The cruel trend of elephants used for rides and shows is growing - we want tourists to know that many of these elephants are taken from their mothers as babies, forced to endure harsh training and suffer poor living conditions throughout their life.

"There is an urgent need for tourist education and regulation of wildlife tourist attractions worldwide."

The elephants of Amer Fort in India are:

  • Taken early from their mothers and forced through a horrific training process known as 'the crush'
  • Forced to carry the weight of tourists for many hours every day, causing skin and muscle injuries
  • Controlled with cruel bull hooks which cause painful wounds and scarring
  • Chained to one spot when not being forced to carry tourists, causing repetitive strain injuries and painful foot problems

Gajender Sharma, Country Director at World Animal Protection, India, said:

"This has been an accident waiting to happen. Elephants at Amer Fort like many elephants in the tourist industry around the world are subjected to a cruel training process called ‘the crush’ making them submissive enough to interact with tourists.

"They are forcibly taken from their mothers, tied to wooden structures while beaten repeatedly. Later to be controlled with bull hooks which cause wounds and scarring.

"Day in, day out, they carry heavy seats for tourists to sit on, which aggravates injuries and causes them severe muscle strain. They do this for years, until eventually their bodies give out.

"When not giving tourist rides, these elephants are mostly chained, unable to socialise, graze or freely move, which causes them great stress and painful foot problems.

"We hope that this tragic accident will highlight to other tourists to avoid booking with travel companies that offer cruel wildlife experiences."

There are approximately 82 captive working elephants at Amer Fort. 

This incident has led to numerous conversations about replacing elephant rides with a more eco-friendly alternative, without exploiting captive elephants.

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