From: Travel Pulse
The Uphill Battle to End Elephant Rides Throughout Asia
During the brief period of time a tourist may spend with an elephant in Asia, it’s impossible to fully grasp the brutal realities of the animal’s life.
When not giving rides or performing for a tourist’s entertainment, elephants are chained all day and night, often on chains that are less than three meters long, according to World Animal Protection, a global non-profit organization working in more than 50 countries and on six continents.
In addition, they are fed poor diets and given no opportunity to socialize, which is traumatizing for such highly-sentient creatures. Making matters worse, they receive only limited veterinary care and are frequently kept on concrete floors.
None of which even begins to take into account the torture and trauma the elephant endured during its earliest years after being snatched from its mother and its herd.
Elephants in captivity throughout Asia are subjected to a ritual known as Phajaan, or crushing of their spirit, in order to “train” them for a life of serving and amusing tourists. It’s a practice that has been reported on by various organizations and publications over the years, but perhaps none as poignantly as National Geographic in 2002.