Thank you to everyone who pledged support for elephant-friendly venues. 

You’re amazing. You’ve helped us move the tourism industry towards a brighter future for elephants.

Over a two-year period, 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.  

We want to make tourists aware of these facts. We can change the world for elephants. 

If you're going on holiday and want to see elephants, make sure you visit an elephant-friendly venue. Our Taken for a ride report includes a list of venues that don't offer cruel elephant attractions. Sign up to our global movement and find out how you can play your part. 

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

Supporting elephants

Our research is moving the world to make sure elephants used in tourism are given a better life. 

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.

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. 

Our Taken for a ride report 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.

Tell the world: