Target: Oriental Escape Thai Travel Agency, Bangkok, Thailand
Goal: Stop using kidnapped and abused elephants to entertain tourists.
Rated number one in Trip Advisor, Oriental Escape is one of the most well-known, commonly used travel agencies in Thailand. Unfortunately, this also means it is the number one, top contributor to why Asian elephants continue to be beaten and tortured into submission for the sake of Thai tourism.
The average elephant that is taken from his pack to be trained and domesticated is under six months old. The calf is then led through a process known as Phajaan, or crushing. It is placed in a cage that restricts all movement, prodded, starved and beaten into submission, then sold to tourist agencies and camps for trekking and other forms of entertainment such as elephant painting. Many of the baby elephants do not survive; the ones that do are oftentimes wounded for life. Their owners, also known as Mahouts, will carry around a large hook that they use to terrify the creatures into obeying their commands. The majority of these elephants that have been trained in the tourist industry are underfed, under hydrated and not given the opportunity to take a daily mud bath, which is necessary to protect their skin. As a result, most are malnourished and burned from being in the sun all day.
As visitors from all over the world flock to Thailand for the beauty, culture and low costs, there has been a large annual increase in the amount of elephants being captured, put through Phajaan and sold off for a life of submission and torture. Aside from the cruelty involved, this has also added to a large decline in the wild elephant population throughout Asia.
There are several sanctuaries around the world that take in elephants that have been injured and that are often deemed “useless” to their owners. They allow the elephants to roam free and make sure they are fed and cared for with the utmost compassion and gentleness. Sanctuaries such as, Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, allow visitors to care for and appreciate these gentle giants in a more natural habitat that doesn’t involve them being exploited or threatened with harmful torture devices.
Call upon one of the largest Thai tourist companies to help stop this process by eliminating elephant trekking and tricks from their tour packages and urge them to only work with elephant sanctuaries.
Dear Oriental Escape,
Baby elephants are regularly being taken from their families and tortured into submission for the sake of Thai tourism. They are forced to live the remainder of their lives in fear and pain as they are exploited and used for entertainment by various camps and organizations throughout Thailand.
Being one of the leading travel agencies in your country, I am asking you to exclude all elephant trekking and tricks from your tour packages and to work solely with sanctuaries that practice and value animal welfare. Elephant Nature Park is one of the top sanctuaries in Thailand, offering a variety of day, week and month long packages for visitors to see and enjoy elephants in their natural habitat. Please encourage and support alternative options in elephant tourism and help put an end to the torturing of wild elephants in your country.
(Your Name Here)
Photo Credit: einalem-flicker