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!
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!