Stop Forcing Elephants to Swim Underwater for Tourists

Target: Attaporn Srihayrun, Director of Khao Kheow Open Zoo

Goal: Stop forcing elephants to swim fully submerged underwater as part of a tourist attraction.

A recently added attraction at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand is raising concerns among animal lovers for the cruel treatment of its resident elephants, who are regularly forced to swim underwater in an aquarium-style tank. The attraction is one of only a handful of pools worldwide that allow tourists to view elephants swimming underwater, but the way in which the animals are made to perform is both shocking and unnatural.

In one video clip taken by an eyewitness, elephant trainers known as mahouts appear to pull on the elephants’ ears as they ride on their backs, forcing them to dive under the water. The massive animals continue to be prodded until they reach the bottom of the deep tank five or six times, allowing them to become fully submerged. This is all done while hordes of children and other onlookers beat on the glass to get the elephants’ attention, further causing them distress.

While elephants in the wild are known to enter natural pools and rivers frequently to cool off, this type of performance is unnatural, and puts the elephants’ lives at risk when their trunks are unable to reach the surface for air. Sign this petition to demand that this zoo stop forcing these animals to perform this dangerous and inhumane stunt.


Dear Director Srihayrun,

Although your recently added swimming elephants attraction has become a popular attraction among tourists, it is clear that it is cruel and unnecessarily puts the lives of these massive creatures at risk. We demand that you stop exploiting these elephants by making them dive fully underwater during the swimming shows that are held twice daily at your facility.

While elephants are known to enter the water, and even swim, when given the chance, they are careful to keep their trunks above the surface to ensure that they can breathe. By forcing these creatures to dive deep down underwater, so that even their trunks are submerged, you are subjecting them to psychological distress and increasing their chances of drowning. It is time you stop forcing these intelligent creatures to perform these unnatural, life-threatening stunts and allow them to live peacefully without fear or harassment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eric Kilby

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  1. Johnny K. says:

    Drown these elephant handlers now. They deserve no less. Video tape it and put in on Pay-Per-View. You’d make a lot of money from people like me who love animals and would just love to see any animal abuser suffer to the fullest extent possible. F’em all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Karen Mckay says:

    I cannot believe there are still such stupid uneducated humans that find this torture an attraction. Outlaw it immediately and jail anyone that partakes in any cruel acts with animals.

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