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
Lonely Planet Recommends 5 Elephant Attractions in Thailand; We Wish We Could Recommend Just One Here In Nepal
Lonely 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:
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!
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.
For more info on the current situation, see this recent article on takepart.
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:
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.
Great job students, and thank you for your support.
Animal rights groups took credit for generating the public concern that forced the company to announce its pachyderm retirement plan on Thursday. But Ringling Bros.’ owners described it as the bittersweet result of years of internal family discussions.
For more, see here:
PETA responds here:
A well-known booking agent in the heart of tourist-town Kathmandu (Thamel) just announced they will no longer be booking tours that employ the use of elephants during Safari rides. EWN congratulates this company for their bravery in the marketplace, and for doing the right thing – even if tourist revenue may be lost. This firm lives up to their claim in being a socially responsible tour company. Please see this news release, and also consider booking your next tour with these fine folks: