Each year elephants are being abused in horrible ways at the Surin Elephant Round-up festival in Thailand. This festival is held every year in Surin Province, Isan, Thailand, usually during the third week of November. The origins are in the royal hunts. The resident of Surin have been practicioners of corralling elephants and training them as working animals. The event now includes shows like soccer games and tugs of war with the Royal Thai Army.
Unfortunately, the elephants are living a nightmare. They are stabbed repeatedly with huge sharp hooks and pulled or squeezed by their ears. They are teased, stabbed and have horrible scars on their body. Tourists take rides on them with their foreheads covered in blood. Even when no one is watching they have to perform tricks. This kind of torture is called Phajaan or crushing.
When they can, they stand close to each other, trying to comfort one another. Their eyes are full of fear, pain, loneliness, sadness and despair. They feel like they are hated by everyone, like nobody loves them and they are alone. They don't want to live this terrible life they don't deserve. The animals get little sleep, water and food so they don't have much energy and they are starving. many die because of these conditions.
When they are not performing, they are chained by their both front feet, unable to walk. The young elephants are taken away from their mothers way too soon and tortured.
There is another way to celebrate the Surin ritual, and that is to be kind and patient and take it step by step. There should be no torturing, no using of young elephants, no exploitation and no rides. It is normal that the elephants don't want to do tricks or let people take rides on them, especially because their body is not made for that but if people treat them well and try to gain their trust in a good way, they would accept. An animal needs to be respected, loved and taken care of in a good way.
The elephants don't deserve to be tortured like that, no animal does. This should be made illegal in every country. If you agree, sign the petition asking Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to ban elephant abuse at the annual Surin Elephant Round-up festivals!