This is my first post so please be patient.
I am trying to create awareness for the elephants of Asia and in particular Thailand. I've noticed that it is the elephants of Africa that generally get the most press. My point is that ALL elephants the world over deserve our care and respect and not only the one's that are hunted for their ivory...
I recently stumbled across a discussion on the training methods used by mahouts (handlers) in Thailand and was shocked by what I read. The more I looked into it the more stories of torture I came across.
After a quick search I found a short 2 and a half minute video that I think needs as much exposure as possible as it highlights the issues that the unsuspecting tourists help feed!
It is rather upsetting, but important none the less...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHLE1x4F ... e=youtu.be
Yes "Elephant" .... I think most of us here are aware of the issue of elephant abuse in Asia (Thailand). I recognized Lek from the video you posted here. She is one lovely woman.http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/aboutlek.htm
There is a history of elephant use/abuse in Thailand. The Thais used elephants in their forestry industry for many years, and when their forestry industry collapsed, they still had many elephants they needed to be housed and fed ..... plus, elephants had become part of their economy so they were then employed in the tourist industry. Elephants are very expensive to house and feed. There are several individuals who are looking out for them ..... including Lek (who has a heart of pure gold).
But in addition to what these individuals are doing, it is very important to educate tourists about the reality of the condition of elephants in places like Thailand so that tourists can make more informed decisions. I was one individual who toured Thailand ...... and took an elephant ride through the jungle ... without the education that I have now. If I had been informed I may have made a different decision at the time.
So thank you for posting!