Between 2014 and 2016, we investigated 220 elephant tourist attractions across Asia. 

We uncovered horrifying evidence, exposing the way thousands of elephants are treated to entertain tourists:  

  • Big industry: there are more than 3,000 captive elephants in tourism in Asia. Our Taken for a ride report studied 2,923 of them 
  • Entertainment over welfare: There’s a 96% chance that an attraction offering saddled rides or shows keeps elephants in cruel and unacceptable living conditions 
  • Hub for cruelty: Around three quarters of the elephant entertainment venues we studied were in Thailand. There’s been a 30% increase in the number of captive elephants in Thailand in just five years 

These numbers represent the shocking reality of life for thousands of wild animals. There is a small but growing number of alternative elephant attractions which keep their animals in good welfare conditions.

But most of the 2,923 elephants we studied are suffering a lifetime of misery. Holiday-makers who are often motivated by their love of animals are being duped into supporting this hidden cruelty.  

By making tourists aware of these facts, we can change the world for elephants. Please pledge to unite for the herd today, and together, we can show the industry just how many people won’t stand for elephant cruelty in tourism. 

Pledge your support for elephants

Together, we can move the world so more elephant attractions adopt high-welfare standards.

An elephant holds a tourist in his trunk, while other people take photos

There are a growing number of elephant-friendly alternatives which don’t allow direct contact with elephants. These are much more humane for elephants.  

The elephant entertainment industry must take note of tourists’ outrage, and put elephants’ welfare first. 

Undeniable cruelty 

For baby elephants in tourism, the trauma begins when they’re stolen from their mothers shortly after birth. 

They’re brutally ‘trained’ to become submissive enough to give rides and perform tricks. They’re often hit with hooks or other tools during this time until their spirits are broken.

After this initial disturbing and painful process, elephants are ready to begin their miserable lives as tourist entertainers. They’re kept on concrete floors and bound by chains when not performing, are fed poor and unnatural diets, and receive limited veterinary care. They’re also controlled through the fear of pain.

Join us to unite for the herd, and spread awareness to ensure less support for cruelty, and a better future for elephants.

Unite for change 

We need you to help protect elephants, and raise awareness of this unacceptable hidden cruelty. Together, we can help people make informed choices, and pressure the tourism industry to change. 

Sign up to unite for the herd now, and tell the wildlife entertainment industry you won’t stand for this unacceptable cruelty. It must act responsibly for elephant welfare, and listen to tourists’ demands for elephant-friendly tourism.  

To say thank you, you’ll receive a digital copy of our Taken for a ride report. This includes a list of venues which don’t offer cruel rides or shows, and where elephants are given the best possible care. These are much more humane for elephants.

Read more on our interactive digital report.

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