Elephant rides in Nepal have NOT improved despite claims, says EWN

Elephant Watch Nepal today issued a statement saying elephant riding in Nepal has not improved, despite claims by the industry. The statements responds to recent write ups promoting elephant safaris, claiming conditions are better here compared to Thailand and that the industry has improved conditions. In its statement EWN explains why elephant rides do not benefit conservation, nor the elephants, nor the country in general.



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EWN launches campaign to retire Pawan Kali

This gallery contains 10 photos.

EWN has launched a campaign to lobby for the retirement of the handicapped, 70+ safari elephant Pawan Kali. The elderly female suffers from countless health problems, including malnutrition, open wounds, a deformed leg, and scarring across the body. She is … Continue reading

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EWN gives kudos to Tiger Tops

ele1Elephant Watch Nepal gives kudos to Nepal’s oldest safari company, Tiger Tops, for unchaining its elephants and introducing responsible elephant tourism activities instead.

During a press conference on January 22, Tiger Tops chair Kristjan Edwards announced the move. “Tiger Tops introduced elephant safaris to the world. Half a decade later we now are ready to introduce a responsible way of using elephants in tourism,” he said.

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EWN launches elephant bathing awareness campaign

Elephant bath banner“Did you know that in Nepal one in five elephants suffer from Tuberculosis? Still enjoying that bath?” With that slogan EWN launched a campaign to create awareness about one of a lesser known health and safety risks related to elephant tourism.

In Nepal elephant tourism involves direct contact with captive elephants. Tourists are not only riding these majestic animals, they also touch, feed and take a bath while riding them. Few tourists are aware of the health and safety risks involved. In Nepal one of five captive elephants suffers from Tuberculosis. The treatment is long and intense, and generally sick elephants are back to work in a few weeks time. Continue reading

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Pro Wildlife Germany Release Report / Fact Sheet

Pro Wildlife Germany, a prominent wildlife activist organization, has released a fact sheet detailing the horrendous situation here in Nepal in regards to captive elephants. The entire report can be downloaded here: Pro Wildlife Factsheet Asian_Nepal English Version

From Pro Wildlife Factsheet Asian_Nepal English Version

Captive Elephants Tortured in Nepal

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Lonely Planet Recommends 5 Elephant Attractions in Thailand; We Wish We Could Recommend Just One Here In Nepal

From Lonely Planet, image by Sarah ReidLonely Planet Destination Editor Sarah Reid recommends five elephant attractions in Thailand, and EWN is left hoping that we can someday recommend at least one here in Nepal. In the article linked below, Sarah succinctly describes the situation with elephantourism in Thailand, which is eerily similar to the situation found here in Nepal, and her 5 venue reviews provide a template for Nepal’s venues to pick up and implement, if only they would do so. Full article here: 


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So What do Killer Whales have in Common with Nepal’s Captive Elephants?

'This is not right': Former SeaWorld trainer recalls killer whale treatment

‘This is not right’: Former SeaWorld trainer recalls killer whale treatment

Captive orcas (as seen at Seaworlds around the globe) share at least one thing in common with Nepal’s captive Safari Elephants: their young are taken from mothers at a very early age in order to be trained, and in a very cruel way.

In ex-orca trainer John Hargrove’s new book “Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish” one can find striking similarities between the way that orcas are treated in captivity and the way that Nepal’s Asian Elephants are treated while working in Nepal’s Safari Ride Industry.  In addition to barbaric training methods, handlers of both classes of animal have been killed, and are often silenced when they try to speak up for their charges – animal owners just don’t want to hear it!

Polo Elephants in Chitwan, Nepal

Polo Elephants in Chitwan, Nepal

While this is extremely frustrating for animal trainers (and in Nepal’s case, mahouts), this is also an area of opportunity for all concerned. If Nepal’s mahouts can also be so empowered to speak out, perhaps more businesses would start listening to our pleas for ethical treatment of animals that entertain humans. In that regard, EWN will be exploring new ways to empower mahouts. Mahouts understand the suffering endured by the elephants in their care, but are powerless to do anything about it. They also live in just as squalid conditions as their charges do, and are also silent when it comes to reporting abuse.

So please consider supporting our cause – in order to help elephants as well as mahouts, as they both need your financial help. And in regards to the common problems with all animals held in captivity around the globe, EWN remains united with the animals and with their trainers (like John Hargrove). Well done John!

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