Don’t ride elephants in Thailand – warning to Kiwi tourists

by Alex Baird

Elephant rides in Thailand are coming under increasing international pressure as stories of abusive training practices reach mainstream news and travel sites.

NewsHub reports that New Zealand travellers are being told to steer clear of elephant riding due to the severe abuse the animals face. Intrepid Travel co-founder Geoff Manchester released shocking footage on Sunday – which happens to be World Elephant Day – to show tourists the dark side of elephant riding in Thailand.

“A female elephant will be shot and then its baby is captured,” Mr Manchester says. “That baby is then tortured until it’s willing to submit to humans and it’s then trained to do elephant riding.”

He was the person who first put elephant riding on Intrepid’s regular itinerary – but in 2014, his company realised its mistake and banned the rides.

“The evidence is so overwhelming that it had a big impact on all of us who’d taken elephant riding.”

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