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 World Animal Protection

Elephant Safaris should be Discouraged to End Suffering of Captive Elephants

Apr 19, 2023 16:20 IST 
New Delhi, Delhi, India

World Animal Protection is concerned to learn the news of the resumption of elephant safaris in Uttarakhand as well as the promotion of elephant rides in West Bengal. In the wake of coronavirus, traditional ideas on human animal relationship have changed, including the interactions of humans with captive wild animals. Elephant rides are going out of fashion the world over and ethical tourist operators are replacing these offerings with more ethical wildlife experiences, like enjoying the spectacle of them in the wild or in well maintained sanctuaries. Modern tourism practices are slowly and surely embracing the principle of ‘bring back better,’ whereby old practices like elephant rides that have been practiced for ages, are now being challenged on moral and scientific grounds. World Animal Protection has recently published a report named ‘Real Responsible Traveller’ outlining the animal welfare principles associated with tourism companies all over the world.


Captive elephant used for safari


World Animal Protection respectfully calls upon state government officials in Uttarakhand as well as central government authorities to rethink the feasibility and desirability of elephant rides and keeping elephants in captivity. Every elephant that is used for rides has gone through the brutal breaking process to make them pliable for human manipulation. Elephants exist in the wild in Uttarakhand and West Bengal and ought to be cherished there, rather than being ridden as curiosities.


Elephants are not pets but wild sentient beings. The elephant is India’s National Heritage Animal and is also Schedule I (endangered) species under Wildlife Protection Act India, 1972. Yet the way they are treated shows a complete lack of concern for a wild animal that is extremely social and a sentient. We at World Animal Protection believe that wildlife belongs in the wild and deserve a life worth living. We urge the state government of Uttarakhand to reconsider the safaris and explore alternative tourism sustainable options setting an example for all,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection.


Notes to Editor

Captive elephant used for safari
Captive elephant used for safari
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