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Elephant Trekking–Bad Business

Ruth Caster, writer

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Behind Thailand’s greatest jewel,the elephant, hides a dark secret. Before visiting Thailand, tourists should know about the behind the scenes of the elephant trekking business.

How the elephant trekking business begins their ruthless process of enslaving elephants starts at a young age, otherwise known as “the crush”. The “crush” means to divorce the baby elephant from its “spirit” or to “split the will” of a baby elephant. Frequently poached from the wild, these young elephants more than likely experience the intense suffering of the “crush”.

They start by removing the young elephants from their mothers and confine them to a restricted space.

Unable to move for several days, the young elephants only begin their long and tortuous journey of the through the trekking business. In this small confined space, the young elephants experience  starvation, beatings, and sleep deprivation. Once the crush completely destroys their spirit, the elephant can proceed the next tortuous journey step.

Although elephants may seem to withhold a few people riding on their backs, still this hurts their spines and can deform their skeletal structure for the rest of their lives. Throughout the elephant trekking business, four to five wild elephants die as a result of one elephant poached for the tourism industry.

However, unlike elephant trekking, many organizations provide sanctuaries for elephants who have endured a life of cruelty and suffering. Many places enable tourists to engage with their protected elephants, without upsetting their usual routine. For example, a tourist might enjoy watching them bathe and eat, but the elephants remain ‘ride free’.

Ironically, tourist money drives the cruel industry behind elephant trekking. Hopefully, tourists educate themselves and take small steps to spread awareness of the horrible truth behind elephant trekking.

This cruel act against elephants must end now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The School Bulletin of New Caney High School
Elephant Trekking–Bad Business