Stop Elephant Abuse at Thailand's King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

  • by: Sharanya P.
  • recipient: IBM, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Benihana of Tokyo, Banfi, Diversey, and INVNT
An eyewitness PETA Asia investigation has revealed extreme abuse of elephants during training for the cruel King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand.

Elephants are repeatedly struck and gouged with bullhooks — sharp steel-tipped weapons resembling a fireplace poker — and their ears are violently yanked in training. One mahout (handler) can be seen hitting an elephant on the head approximately 15 times, and blood appears to be visible.

The only way to make elephants tolerate having humans riding around on their backs for polo games or any other reason is to "break" them first. They're chained or otherwise immobilized and beaten relentlessly with bullhooks or other weapons in a process that can last days or even weeks.

Elephants used for polo, rides, shows, and other forms of entertainment suffer tremendously. When not performing, they're typically deprived of everything that's natural and important to them, including the opportunity to walk freely, as they're kept cruelly shackled.

Tourism company Tiger Tops, the organizer of the International Elephant Polo Competition, recently announced that it would stop hosting the event in order to take a stand against cruelty to animals. In 2011, London-based Guinness World Records Ltd. removed all references to elephant polo from the Guinness World Records books because of the abuse that elephants endure for these events. And following discussions with PETA India, Carlsberg Group withdrew its sponsorship of the Polo Cup.

Sign this petition to urge IBM, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Benihana of Tokyo, Banfi, Diversey, and INVNT to stop supporting the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament.
Dear [target],

I was appalled to see that your company is sponsoring the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand.

A PETA Asia eyewitness filmed elephants being repeatedly struck and gouged with bullhooks — sharp steel-tipped weapons resembling a fireplace poker — and violently yanked by their sensitive ears near Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort in the days leading up to the cruel tournament.

When they're not "playing" polo, these elephants are often kept shackled in chains and can barely take a single step in any direction — appalling conditions for animals who travel as far as 30 miles a day in nature. Elephants are highly social animals with mourning rituals that rival those of humans. They live in matriarchal herds, and females remain with their mothers for their entire lives.

Because of the cruelty inherent in using elephants for polo, the organizer of the International Elephant Polo Competition, tourism company Tiger Tops, recently announced that it would stop hosting the event in order to take a stand against cruelty to animals. Elephant polo matches have also lost sponsors — including Carlsberg beer — and Guinness World Records has struck all mention of elephant polo records from its pages.

Elephant polo is widely opposed by compassionate people all over the world for its disregard for elephant welfare. Please stop sponsoring elephant polo immediately and commit to never supporting events that exploit elephants again.

[Your comments]

Thank you.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
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