So-called "elephant joyrides" are anything but joyful for the elephants who are forced to undergo them. A PETA-commissioned investigation of elephant training in Nepal revealed that elephants who are used to give rides are physically and emotionally abused every step of the way.When they are just 2 years old, baby elephants are torn away from their loving mothers and tied up out of their reach. The frantic babies cry and struggle for days to reach their mothers, who are also tethered. Elephant calves are restrained during "training" for as long as 14 hours at a time with heavy chains and with ropes that cause painful burns. Calves are repeatedly put through terrifying "desensitization" abuse, in which trainers tie the elephants tightly to poles, startle them with loud noises, hit them, prod them with sticks and wave flaming torches at them – often singeing the elephants' skin. Trainers routinely pierce the animals' sensitive ears and yank on them with hooks to force them to walk a certain way. Restraints studded with iron nails, which dig into the elephants' skin and cause infections, are used on their feet. Barbed shackles are frequently placed around one of their legs, and one end of the shackle is attached to the saddle so that the rider can punish the elephant for any misstep. Trainers routinely beat elephants on the head with sticks to punish them for "mistakes", leaving many elephants with open wounds.
Please watch this undercover video footage of elephant training camps. This is just one example of the cruel ways that elephants are trained to give rides, but all elephant training methods are cruel. In India, chaining, beating and the use of ankuses (iron hooks) to jab and hit elephants is common. In Thailand, still-nursing baby elephants are literally dragged, kicking and screaming, from their mothers. They are immobilised, beaten mercilessly, and gouged with nails for days at a time. These ritualized "training" sessions leave the elephants badly injured, traumatized, or dead.
Please help the elephants by urging the president of Nepal to ban these joyrides. Also, pledge never to take joyrides.
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