9 Misconceptions Of The Thai Elephant Industry That You Need To Know Before Going To Thailand

9 Misconceptions Of The Thai Elephant Industry That You Need To Know Before Going To Thailand

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[Music] but there is an unconscious bias and stubborn viewpoint that still exists with some foreign conversations the assumption that people overseas cannot look after their elephants the long-standing historical and religious interrelationship between elephants and many asian cultures is not relatable we simply do not have the same spiritual and religious connections to another species within our own [Music] culture [Music] thailand's national animal and symbol is the elephant elephants hold a prominent role in thai history and culture elephants are held in high regards and play an extremely important role due to the global growth of the tourism industry ethical tourism had really gained prominence sustainable development and protecting the environment has rightfully risen to the top of our list of priorities there have been a lot of backlash about thailand's elephant tourism industry many articles videos blogs etc claim that this is unethical tourism and that all captive elephants should be released into the wild but will simply releasing them into the wild solve that problem in a perfect world an elephant would be free to roam around the earth in the wild but unfortunately this is not a realistic option a lot of tourists believe that every elephant is tortured they believe that even the good camps cannot be good the idea that every elephant is abused is somehow easy to portray in black and white in this video i will tell you about the misconceptions about elephants in thailand and how avoiding elephant camps can actually do more harm than good after watching this video you should be able to put aside these false narratives and grasp a deeper understanding of the topic so we are not so easily misled and actually work towards helping these elephants survive having done my research on this topic and having conversations with pinon chai who is karen and in whose family for five generations have owned native elephants he shares with me how it is being the main caregiver and how elephants are an integral part of his life through my research i have discovered that there are numerous controversial statements that represent an inaccurate image which i wanted to point out all captive domesticated elephants should be set free into the wild there are less than 15 percent of elephants natural habitat that remains in thailand basically if we would let all captive elephants loose they will have nowhere to go and there is not enough food for them in these national parks largely due to deforestation there is a rampant poaching problem agricultural and plantation concessions also continue to move in on the boundaries of the protected areas even if the elephants live in private sanctuaries and parks they still have to come in contact with humans for everyone's safety they make sure they remain within their boundaries of their enclosure conflicts between humans and elephants continue to pose a serious threat to both wild elephants and the local population running over a village in search of food is a very high possibility aside from this it can often get in the way of an elephant's welfare as groups typically have unique dynamics and some elephants simply cannot co-exist well in hertz a majority of cath developments would die if they return to the wild this is the sad reality they started domesticating elephants for elephant tourism many people don't understand that the elephant tourism industry came about because we already had elephants in captivity they've been in captivity for a very long time and can't just be released so we have to find a way to feed them as previously mentioned elephants have been domesticated in thailand for over a thousand years historically in ancient times elephants were used for war and then for transport and heavy labor for the logging industry during the late 19th century when mostly british teak loggers gained contracts in the region large numbers of elephants were captured from the wild made captive and used as labor in fact as the teakwood traders became really wealthy the over logging of teakwood caused massive deforestation in 1988 ultimately leading to a nationwide logging ban and the displacement of more than 2 thousand logging elephants during this period asian elephants were listed as endangered despite some very difficult and challenging periods it soon transitioned into using elephants for tourism initially showing off their logging skills then adding rides in the karen villages near chiang mai thai elephant tourism is bad we need to educate tourists to support good elephant camps for the better management and better live conditions of the elephants about 3 400 captive elephants live in thailand all of these elephants are id'd intact because they are privately owned the only way for them to survive is through tourism additionally it creates awareness supports jobs and provides food and livelihood for the elephants elephants are extremely costly to house and feed so tourism is the only viable way for them and their owners to earn some income to put things into perspective elephants eat 200 kilograms worth of food each day trying to boycott these camps or sanctuaries are both ignorant and dangerous with more exposure should bring about more pressure to set and maintain high standards of care in thailand captivity laws are primarily governed by the 1939 beast of burden act which fails to mention elephant safety or welfare it is the priority of many who care about the future about thai elephants to update and modernize these laws several critics have taken issues with the unnatural activities elephants are forced to perform in some elephant camps such as playing soccer or standing on two legs and they question how they are trained to do so many quickly point the finger at the metal hook that is traditionally used by mahouts many foreigners come to thailand to work with elephants but they don't know how to adapt to thai culture instead focusing on rescue marketing tactics with more research and proper understanding that is backed by science and not by emotions we can effectively move forward to have real progress elephant rides are bad elephant riding is not necessarily harmful for them as long as it is limited to a few hours each day in some camps elephants are forced to work for tourists for long hours which is problematic but two people in a saddle is less than 10 of the elephant's body weight so provided adequate rest and the right times are limited it is not an issue the elephant in fact thrives on physical activity the industry should adopt a set of standards in the future to ensure captive elephants are treated fairly with the proper understanding it is important to let scientific research move forward without being held back by emotional decisions elephant paintings can be a double dead sword although it is not natural for elephants to paint it is not necessarily cruel to them we need to consider if the elephant is forced to perform these acts and drastic measures are taken in order to do so as well as if the elephant is physically harmed that would be considered bad when profit takes precedence over everything else this can cause harm although most people think elephants must be broken and beaten in order to draw this statement is simply not true and inaccurate all mahouts or elephant handlers treat the elephants badly [Music] elephants are huge animals with enormous strength one false move can kill a person or destroy a village that being said uncontrolled elephants are extremely dangerous not only to tourists and mahouts but also other elephants there are some house who lack training and understanding in building a proper relationship with the elephants and would abuse the tools they have these are often underpaid untrained mahouts rather than those who have often had generations of my house and their families before them there are of course scare my hearts who act aggressively who fear for their safety and then there are those who are truly bonded in which they have a very close relationship and are committed to ethical methods i want to reiterate that these are huge animals so an aggressive behavior can be fatal my house have to be cautious and be vigilant elephants are clever animals and they will quote unquote test their handler sometimes these elephants will fight over food so my house really have to keep an eye out on them chains and hooks are cruel and bad for the elephant there is no doubt about the fact that each interaction poses a large risk to humans which is why traditional methods of controlling elephants have been both needed and fiercely criticized simultaneously hooks were invented over thousands of years ago to help my house get the attention of elephants in case of emergency or for their safety one can argue that those around the elephant are at risk from not having a hook available the chain is another visible symbol of captivity but it is a necessary tool of course it matters how you chain them and how long you chain them for but to say don't chain an elephant unfortunately is unrealistic it is the simplest and safest tool for a camp that cannot afford millions of bots and fencing unlike fencing it also allows elephants to move locations throughout the jungle chains are also the best material for control as they do not cause chafing on the elephant's skin it would be impossible to keep an elephant in captivity without chaining or fencing for at least a few hours per night ropes on the other hand can cause irritation and pierce their skin which can even coil and cause even more damage training my house to use tools sensibly for their own protection and elephant welfare have made great progress however some business owners do not employ these methods because they fear negative consequences from using these highly criticized methods this has led to multiple deaths among my house that we sadly do not really hear about but we also have these practices that have been adopted by other businesses protecting elephants and ensuring my health safety using this method would be the best option hooks like all tools can be misused or used simply for punishment but this isn't their intended use which is typically to tap onto their pressure points since elephant have thick skin it usually should not hurt them in order to determine whether elephants have been abused with hooks you can simply look at their foreheads if no scarring is visible then this issue is not relevant all elephants have the same personality it is worth noting that there are three main stages in an elephant's life cycle you have the baby [Music] teenager and adult babies are more innocent teens are more energetic and can also be rebellious and adults would have fully matured elephants are highly intelligent and have high emotional iq it is important to realize that elephants also experience different emotions at different times just like humans there are a variety of emotions they may go through for example elephants are also very protective of their calves their maternal instinct is very strong and they look after their young ones if you separate them they feel angry and sad but male elephants tend to be a little bit more independent elephants also mourn for their loved ones [Music] elephant owners are rich [Music] elephant camps and sanctuaries often rent elephants from actual owners often these owners are poor and must take care of not only their elephants but their own families as well therefore they rent out their elephants at camp so they can earn income often the actual owners are not even able to make 100 to 200 baht per day their kids cannot be fed or put through school with this amount of money these are the hardships that they face on a daily basis they don't operate as businessmen businessmen tend to come from the city not the local villages locals lack the knowledge to make money or conduct business the elephant camp workers are concerned about their own elephants so they go and actually work in these camps to look after their own elephants in order to ensure that they aren't overworked local people used to own 90 percent of elephants but now that number has dramatically decreased to just seven percent camps and sanctuaries would be able to buy these elephants from the owners for around one to two million which is a large sum of money this would be a significant benefit to the owners and their family also worth noting is the fact that these camps sometimes use donation money they receive from the public to purchase elephant it's sort of a rent-to-own type of situation these are some of the things that does happen pajam equals crush and it happens to all captive and wild elephants this branding or propaganda of crushing the captive elephant spirit is so inaccurate the peta campaign back in 2002 that started this all was to stop the traditional breaking of the wild elephants the videos are horrifying and excruciating to watch the person who watches these videos of these young elephants suffering such cruel treatment and does not feel anything is nothing short of heartless this is a very damaging campaign for the thai elephant industry it is inaccurate to claim that all or most elephants go through this in fact these videos featured wild elephants that have been illegally caught and forced to be trained by humans there is a difference these cruel techniques are not necessarily used for captive elephants consider the difference between our pets and dogs bred to fight the fact that they breed these fighting dogs doesn't mean that all dogs are vicious and trained to fight suppose we branded all dogs as fighting dogs and then showed the training they would receive wouldn't we be terrified this false narrative plays into our emotion which is why we are outraged we tend to become emotionally distraught when we see such inhumane acts and to share these stories with our friends and family to let them know that this must stop saying we must boycott all we must set all the captive it's free and the list goes on it is detrimental that this information has been spread in such a way that has affected the elephant industry likewise i also at one point believe this to be true there are numerous articles and videos criticizing elephant tourism they would say you should stay away from these elephant camps or these camps are harming the elephants and you shouldn't support them when you google pajam or crush you will most likely see that it's about torturing elephants this problem is exacerbated by the endless amounts of articles and blog posts the elephant tourism industry has been severely damaged by peta's accusation pajam actually means divorce or separation this ceremony is meant to give blessings and strength to those involved for example suppose a mother and her child may be separated from their families this can be an actual child or an elephant for the separation of the mother and the calf to take place rituals are performed to bless both the elephants and their mahouts the pajan ritual provides mental and emotional benefits by making sure that the majors are assured that the forest spirits will not hinder their relationship with their elephants in addition the mahout is assured of the elephant's safety because of the guardians watching over the elephant soul pajam is a celebration that gives strength for those involved whether it's for elephants or people not about crushing or demoralizing spirits but rather lifting them the false narratives propagated by some people really damage the livelihood of both the elephants and all the people who are associated with them people love to hear that elephants are rescued from unsafe or unsuitable living conditions but rescuing is just the beginning we can't say look we rescued an elephant and already were heroes the story is not completed there lives of the elephants after rescue can be as challenging as before same as lives of children after they are fostered it doesn't just matter what happens before once elephants have been rescued they have the right to be happier and healthier their sad stories are not supposed to be used for emotional donations changing circumstances make this a continuous process the establishment of standards is necessary for us to understand how to both proceed and protect elephants and their handlers as well as locals and tourists as you know this pandemic has affected everybody around the world this is also true for these elephants since cobra has affected so many businesses especially camps and sanctuaries that thrive on tourism there are elephants that are struggling to be fed i've had many conversations and video chats with pinon chai about my research about elephants and also ask them many questions i too have learned so much and not only from my research but also from pinon chai and his family for generations of owning elephants carmel pinochet's partner has set up a fundraiser to help feed and support the elephant keepers at the elephant sanctuary called the elephants freedom village with the fun twist i'll leave the link in the description below if you'd like to donate i in no shape or form benefit financially or any way from this fundraiser so you don't necessarily have to donate here you can do your research and donate to those that really do help these elephants i just want to inform people the actual truths so we can spread awareness and make more informed decisions thanks for watching if you thought this video was interesting or useful you can hit the like button and if you want to see more content like this consider subscribing and comment down below with any suggestions this is al with travel like water keep moving

2021-07-20 22:31

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