An elephant is "cheating" a lot!

Théotime was talking about it from the beginning, and on our side we really wanted to go see these big beasts a little closer… But here, rubbing shoulders with elephants is not trivial, and has asked us a lot of ethical questions. At the beginning of the 20th century there were 100 000 elephants in Thailand. Today they are only 5000, half domesticated. But here's the rub: a domesticated elephant costs between 20 000 and 30 000, in other words, it's worth it. And tourism demand has made it a very lucrative activity, but at what cost? Almost all domesticated elephants have undergone the so-called "Phajaan": The Elephants are hunted and captured before the age of 3 years, then for 1 week and sometimes more, are subjected to torture (we pass the details for our young readers), In order to crush their wild animal soul and subdue them. Then, "Reminder bites" are administered regularly so that the elephant always remembers this period and continues to submit. Besides this Phajaan, an elephant on which we ride is also torture, knowing that he can bear a load of more than 150kg, that the nacelle that carries the tourists weighs already 60kg, and that sometimes we see 4-6 people on, + his guide…

An elephant that draws with its trunk or other trick, it is an elephant that does not have time to eat its 200kgs of daily food, which takes it between 18 and 20h/day. And their proboscis serves them to breathe, incidentally…

So yes we were very keen to see elephants, but not in these conditions. After reflections and research we opted for a refuge of elephants, or normally they were collected after all these tortures, and live now in good conditions while being well treated. We loved to rub shoulders with them so close, spend a moment with them to feed them, bathe with them in the river… An unforgettable experience for Théotime than to find yourself next to these mastodons! We saw elephants obeying the voice of their masters and the sugarcane they love. They lived in a green environment with space, and we saw them eating a lot!

Yes but here… In all this we have also seen scars and traces of blows, and not sure that they are all very old… These elephants also knew how to make "tricks" like barrir when they were told "Thank you", to make a love with their trunk… The subject of abuse seems really taboo when asked (and English is suddenly much more approximate) and one wonders if the inscription "No Riding" (you do not get on the elephant) is not rather a new tool Merchandising that has made its appearance as there is awareness on the part of tourists. And then there were these funny tubes that hung in the master's belt, knives to cut the sugarcane or bullhook (small hammer with a tip used to beat them)?!

The border seems pretty thin, and leaves us a lot of question marks yet.

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