Elephants With Jobs or Elephant Tourism: The Great Debate

What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You? : TripAdvisor Effectively Condones the Abuse of Wildlife as They Continue to Book Tours & Realize Profits From “The World’s Cruelest Animal Attractions” & Those Attractions Featuring Elephants For Human Entertainment Rank # 1 : Part 1

TripAdvisor & Its Subsidiary Travel Company Viator Continue To Shirk Responsibility When Confronted About Alleged Wild Animal Abuse Running Rampant Among Its Reviewers’ Highly Rated Tourist Destination Spots…

It should come as no surprise that any wildlife attraction featuring elephants would be highly ranked; up near or at the top of any go-to tourist destination. It should also come as no surprise that when one takes an animal out of the wild for the purpose of human entertainment it would involve some form of dominance (cruelty, more often than not) used by humans to force that wild animal into subservience to them. But for some reason with humans this (the latter of the aforementioned) just doesn’t seem to sink in.


Mahouts on the Backs of Elephants Waiting For The Next Unknowing Tourist   Image: CC Flickr


Driven by the glowing online reviews from recently returned tourists (having had such experiences) the suffering of our elephants will continue as the practice of elephant tourism continues, unabashedly, today.

Tacit approval or indifference is just as damaging, and almost justifies the cruel practices used to tame such majestic animals. Caring humans just cannot see it any other way.

Now as popular as an elephant is to the animal kingdom, a website known as TripAdvisor, whose scope is worldwide, has become king of the travel industry in terms of “travel-related content reviews” (forums and opinions of the traveling public). In fact they (American owned TripAdvisor and its subsidiary Viator a “travel and tour booking company it acquired in 2014”) now dominate the travel industry, having made close to $1.5 billion dollars profit in one measly year (2015).

TripAdvisor has now become a one stop shop for both leaving your money and (in some cases when relying on the reviews of unknowing or uncaring tourists) leaving your conscience behind.


Confused Elephant in Chains Subjected to Giving Rides    Image: CC Flickr


This is especially true when humans support tourist venues or destinations that involve detaining (most often in chains) or destroying the natural liberties of our elephants (and their very souls when breaking their spirits through phajaan or “the crush”) for a mere encounter lasting less than a full day.

Even still TripAdvisor is dragging its feet in making a commitment to do what is right by looking beyond the dollars and adding a component to their decision making process that incorporates humanity (for our elephants and other voiceless wildlife). It is with this in mind that we must make the following appeal.


Riding on Ele in Chains : A Human’s Perspective      Image: CC Flickr


TripAdvisor we implore you to take responsibility for the content of your website and make an ethical decision to not endorse (through unknowing traveler reviews ) any tourist area, resort or attraction which features elephant rides or any other unnatural use or presentation of elephants outside of their natural environment, which is in the wild.

The only exception being a reputable sanctuary which rescues our elephants from the very situations from which you, TripAdvisor are indirectly putting them in (by supporting those venues or attractions etc.). By allowing positive comments to flow across the internet you are in effect endorsing these establishments or events or individuals who exploit (animals) and you serve to influence travelers from around the world to support and perpetuate the suffering of wildlife in every way.

Elephants are extremely intelligent animals, akin to humans, and they feel the pain and the loss when torn from their mothers and elephant family (elephant herd ) at a very young age. Just research the cruel methods used to force these elephants to become subservient & to perform (breaking the elephant’s spirit / phaajan ) and you will find the abuse undisclosed and hidden away (from an unknowing public).

  • TripAdvisor we commend you for endorsing reputable elephant sanctuaries through your online customer or traveler reviews when sharing their positive experiences with establishments committed to elephant conservation in the most exemplary way.                                                                                                                         Through this education humans are aware of the difference between individuals or establishments having the welfare of elephants at the heart of their organization ( their bottom line) and those who unfortunately chose to contribute to their suffering, all for the love of commerce.         (Elephant Nature Park  has been working with Mahouts in Thailand, for example, to show how elephants respond to kindness not to the tactics creating fear (using bullhooks) that among our captive elephants are commonplace (a perfect world would include no elephants in captivity, of course.) 


Happy Family at Elephant Nature Park   elephant sanctuary         Image: CC Flickr


To Be Continued: What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You? : TripAdvisor Effectively Condones the Abuse of Wildlife as They Continue to Book Tours & Realize Profits From “The World’s Cruelest Animal Attractions” & Those Attractions Featuring Elephants For Human Entertainment Rank # 1 : Part 2


Photo Credits: CC Flickr  Featured Elephant Giving Rides Mahout With Bullhook ; Mahouts on the Backs of Elephants Waiting , Confused Elephant in Chains, Riding on Ele in Chains, Happy Family at Elephant Nature Park


Elephant Giving Rides : Mahout With Bullhook    Image: CC Flickr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *