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

Posted in Awareness Raising, Elephant Rides, Elephant Watch Nepal, elephants, Nepal, Tuberculosis | 1 Comment

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: 

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand/travel-tips-and-articles/how-to-interact-ethically-with-elephants-in-thailand

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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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“Tourists are the key” says Carol Buckley of Elephant Aid International

Carol Buckley, founder of Elephant Aid International, says that “As long as tourists will pay money to ride elephants, savvy businessmen will exploit elephants for the fortune to be made” and she also reports that two elephants died last month in Nepal after long days of labor. Considering there are just over a hundred or so captive elephants currently working in Nepal’s Safari Ride industry, this is of grave concern. Carol also reports from Chitwan that as many as a third of the elephants are infected with tuberculosis, which they contract from humans and then pass to one another. So please support EWN and Carol in our efforts to help these sick and overworked elephants.

Stay off Elephants’ Backs to Stop Killing Them

Stay off Elephants’ Backs to Stop Killing Them

For more info on the current situation, see this recent article on takepart.

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EWN Volunteers kick off the Nepal College Tour @ National College, Kathmandu

On March 11 2015, three volunteers from EWN spent 1 hour with 25 students and faculty at National College, KTM. This engaged group looked at problems with captive elephants in Nepal, and at problems specifically concerning elephants & mahouts in the Chitwan National Park area.

Here is the presentation as given:

Two EWN volunteers working on the presentation just before kick-off time.

Two EWN volunteers working on the presentation just before kick-off time.

The group discussion reveled that almost all students have been to Chitwan National Park, and that most have ridden an elephant on a safari ride. Students came up with some interesting alternatives to the business of elephant safari rides, to include: walkways and viewing towers, tree houses for rent and viewing, and jeep safaris – with one student even suggesting that the jeeps be made to LOOK LIKE elephants 🙂 What a great idea.

This 60-minute session seemed to have an impact on all that attended, as half the room signed up to become EWN volunteers and spend time helping us in future campaigns – welcome aboard students!

In addition, the general consensus at the closing of the session was that safari elephant riding was not an activity anyone would be doing in the future.

National College students engaged during the session.

National College students engaged during the session.

Great job students, and thank you for your support.

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