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Sharon van Wyk • 1 year ago

What the industry fails to appreciate that whether for touching and feeding interactions or flat-out riding, the elephants are kept in the same conditions and are trained in the same manner. Therefore, it's not enough to stop riding. I've studied this industry and written about it in depth for almost 15 years now, and things have changed drastically over those years. What's needed now is to stop interactions of all descriptions and adopt a hands-off approach. We do not need to touch elephants to appreciate how impressive and wonderful they are. These elephants need to be rehabilitated into the wild, which contrary to popular belief can be done, unlike other wild species such as lion. Pilanesberg Elephant Back Safaris successfully reintegrated their elephants into the wild. If they can do it, so can others. There really is no excuse, other than the bottom line.

Pauline Hodson • 1 year ago

Gods in Shackles - Kerala, India - was Shown and was taken by most as abhorrent cruelty - but the GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING. The Government has to make the Law to Stop the Cruelty and Implement the Law - OR the Tourists will Stop Coming. India or Africa most Tourists to Wildlife places do not want Animal Cruelty on their Agenda and it should be Banned by Law. FGS what does it take to be a Decent Society

Vernon Wait • 1 year ago

Working on the basis that there is broad agreement that elephant interactions should stop, the issue then becomes: how does one achieve this? We do after all, live in a society where freedom of choice prevails so we cannot stop forcefully elephant interactions. Also, there are clearly lucrative opportunities in this space and elephant interaction operators who see the money more than the well-being and dignity of the animal will continue to offer this so long as there is a demand for it.

Stopping elephant interactions has to be done, in my opinion, by a combination of informing the public about the negatives, on the one hand, and putting pressure on the industry on the other hand. By way of example, all shareholders in TravelSmartCrew (combined turnover of R1.6b last year) have taken the decision not to support elephant interactions, or lion interactions for that matter. The tourism plant is a wide one and we can all, in our own way, contribute to stopping this industry by making a difference where we can.