Elephants With Jobs or Elephant Tourism: The Great Debate

“You Are Killing Their Soul”: Animal Welfare NGO Releases Distressing Video Footage of Abusive Methods Used to Break Baby Elephants in Thailand Training Camp : Part 2

This video is distressing to watch but we must watch to warn others of the abuse performing elephants endure…

World Animal Protection explains how the baby elephants are trained using the method known as “the crush“* which “involves hobbling the elephants with chained legs, handlers striking sensitive areas with bullhooks or taking them to loud, busy highways.”

Stages of “The Crush

1) “separation from their mothers“*

2) “submission training using bullhooks to inflict pain“*

3) “learning basic skills such as walking on their hind legs“*

4) learning “advanced skills such as twirling hula hoops, painting, and receiving money from humans“*

*source “Footage released by animal rights group shows “abusive” training of Thai elephants


Image CC Flickr by Shu Similar Baby Elephant Performing with a hula hoop in Thailand Elephant Show



Notable moments from video “Horrific footage shows baby elephants tied up and beaten” at The Daily Mail

Mama elephant named Gintaala tries to protect her baby Boonshoo, age 16 months  At 0:26 Elephant Mother roars out, loudly, swinging her trunk in anger, as she desperately tries to get to her baby.  Gintaala is restricted by the chains on her legs, after little Boonshoo is taken away.

0:43 Three men have secured the elephant calf, Boonshoo, to “the Crush” platform, the area where the little elephant’s spirit will be broken through cruel beatings from the men. Boonshoo is tied to the corral, her legs are chained. She immediately begins to sway back and forth with anxiety as she is left on her own to contemplate her fate.

1:46 The men are now walking Boonshoo on the road, escorting her closely, they surround her, bullhooks in their hands.

1:54 The men suddenly start lashing the little elephant’s forehead with the sharp bullhook / ankus which sends Boonshoo to her knees which angers the men. You can hear sounds like a taser or electric pulses (2:03) as the men try to keep Boonshoo on her feet. The men continue to lash Boonshoo‘s forehead to get her to obey. (A boy behind them whips her backside with a tree branch as this is going on.) Finally (at 2:13 Boonshoo roars out and tries to head into the bushes as she crunches her body up. But she is back on her chained feet in no time.)

2:23 Another training session and baby Boonshoo backs away roaring as the bull hook wielding man is pulling her back by her ear.

At 2:40 man starts jabbing the elephant calf with the bull hook under her trunk to get her to raise her trunk to their commands. This continues unabatedly as the little elephant backs away as if she just does not understand…

3:00 The baby elephant is chained behind another elephant (her mama?) and is almost dragged along sideways as she is chained at the ankles.

3:12 Boonshoo’s mama, Gintaala, roars out as she is chained away from her baby yet again.

3:20 Boonshoo shown struggling with a long chain around her right front leg while her neck is roped to another elephant (her mama?) The men take the baby elephant into a head dive into the dirt or maybe that is Boonshoo‘s defense mechanism against the men’s commands (to hide her face against the ground). A man behind her manipulates her chained leg.

3:42 Boonshoo is tied to a pole (a rope around her neck) & all alone with the men under a canopy.  Her back leg is being yanked as she slides/stumbles to the ground. At 4:04 you hear the sound of an electric current/taser, another zapping sound at 4:07.  Boonshoo continues to struggle, at 4:17 she finally rumbles in pain.



Source:  “Horrific footage shows baby elephants being ‘broken’ at cruel training camps before they are set to work in the tourist industry in Thailand” by RAVEN SAUNT FOR MAILONLINE / The Daily Mail

Images: by WAP, Baby Elephant named Boonshoo Chained & Tied in Training Device Known as The Crush & CC Flickr: by Shu,  Similar Baby Elephant Performing with a hula hoop in Thailand Elephant Show


World Animal Protection (WOP)

World Animal Protection NGO wiki

World Animal Protection YouTube Channel

Elephant Spoken Here facebook


Image: by WAP, Baby Elephant, named Boonshoo, Chained & Tied in Training Device Known as The Crush

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