Elephants in Thailand are bred to entertain tourists

One of the largest and most iconic animals, it is easy to see why so many people love elephants. For decades, tourists have flocked to Thailand for its beautiful landscapes, beaches and to see elephants.

An entire industry has grown around elephant tourism in Thailand and it is growing rapidly – in the last decade there has been a 70% increase in the number of elephants used at tourist venues across the country.

The truth is that elephants suffer on a daily basis to entertain tourists

A grown elephant can weigh up to 5000kg and be over 3 metres tall. For an animal of this size to be less unpredictable and dangerous around tourists they are put through the ‘crush’, a process designed to break the animals spirit and make them compliant.

The suffering begins when they are born into captivity. They are separated from their mother as young calves when they are just 1 or 2 years old and chained, isolated and beaten – sometimes for weeks - in order to make them submissive.

Following this early suffering and trauma, elephants used in tourism are often kept in appalling conditions, chained on concrete floors, fed poor diets and not given the opportunity to show their natural behaviours.

If elephant-loving tourists knew what had happened to the elephant to allow them to get close enough to ride, wash or hug an elephant, they would never take part in these activities.

What you can do to help

  • Sign our petition asking the Thai government to put a breeding ban in place that would stop more elephants being born into a life of chains and hooks for tourist entertainment.
  • Don’t ride, wash, bathe or hug an elephant or watch an elephant show – only visit observation-only venues where the elephants are free to be elephants
  • Question travel companies selling elephant rides, washing or bathing experiences or elephant shows
  • Tell your family and friends all about how to be an elephant-friendly tourist and only see elephants in the wild or in an observation-only sanctuary.


We’re trying to change the system and we need your help

Our team in Thailand have collected over 50,000 signatures and have been calling on the Thai government to ban elephant breeding in captivity and improve the welfare of captive elephants. Now we need your help to show that there is worldwide support!

Sign the petition now!