Stop Abusing Elephants for Tourist Shows in Thailand

Elephants playing football, elephants with hoops, elephants painting - these kind of shows are often visited by tourists in Thailand. But many people don't see the abuse that the animals suffer - until now.

This video (click the picture above), taken by a tourist at the Namuang Safari Park in Ko Samui, shows the horrific treatment elephants must endure for the sake of 'entertainment'. The shock of the crowd as the trainer smashes his metal bull-hook into the elephant's head is clearly heard.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Elephants are not 'domesticated', meaning that before they can perform in this kind of show, they must be 'broken'. The 'Phajaan', or 'Crush' is a horrific ritual that is carried out on every baby elephant before it is trained for shows or elephant trekking.

The elephant is meant to be revered by the Thai people, but these shows are a sign of disrespect and should be stopped. Tourists will always wish to see elephants, but it must be done in a way that does not involved the Phajaan or abusive treatment. Please sign my petition to ask the Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand to stop the abuse of performing elephants in shows. If enough people sign, we can show that as tourists we will not visit these shows and trade will suffer if the abuse is not stopped.

We call on the Tourism Authority of Thailand to:

  • Denounce elephant shows in which elephants are abused in this way
  • Refuse to promote ANY venue where this kind of performance is held
  • Demand that the promotion of cruel elephant shows by tour operators and travel agents carrying the TAT logo is stopped.
  • Implement a Code of Practice for activities involving elephants

We understand that tourism is vital for many elephants and their trainers in Thailand, as they would otherwise be unemployed. But as tourists, we cannot accept this kind of abuse of an animal for entertainment.

This petition was created by the www.RIGHT-tourism.org campaign, run by Care for the Wild International to try and help tourists be animal-friendly.

We call on the Tourism Authority of Thailand to:



  • Denounce elephant shows in which elephants are abused in this way

  • Refuse to promote ANY venue where this kind of performance is held

  • Demand that the promotion of cruel elephant shows by tour operators and travel agents carrying the TAT logo is stopped.

  • Implement a Code of Practice for activities involving elephants


The elephant is meant to be revered by the Thai people, but these shows are a sign of disrespect and should be stopped. Tourists will always wish to see elephants, but it must be done in a way that does not involved the Phajaan or abusive treatment.

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