Video length: 3 min.
Torture, confinement, mistreatment…. Little is known about the abominable living conditions of elephants trained for tourists. Julien, ex-volunteer at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, wants to open the eyes of the public. This is his message.
“I do not understand that we continue to domesticate wild elephants by violence, while hiding reality from tourists and spectators by making them believe that they are being treated well“. Julien Maïmoun is a former volunteer at the Elephant Rescue Center in Thailand. His fight: to alert people to the living conditions of domesticated elephants, the reality of which is hidden from the eyes of the general public.
“Tourists when they go to see elephants going for rides, or riding on their backs, or seeing them doing things that seem incredible or unusual, they just have the impression of being in front of animals that are extremely intelligent and who demonstrate their intelligence in these tricks or in these ballads“Elephants are extremely intelligent animals, but above all they are extremely wild and very dangerous.
An elephant does not obey, it submits.
To train an elephant, it is therefore the training by annihilation“which is used: a pickaxe is used to strike the animal repeatedly on sensitive areas, for several days. The animal is therefore at the same time hungry, thirsty and locked up. Then, the elephant will do whatever it takes requested and will obey any order to avoid being hurt again.
To see if an elephant is tortured, you have to rely on several clues. First of all, he can make frantic movements when he is unhappy. For example, the elephant will tend to sway slightly, from side to side, due to overwork and accumulated stress. These movements simply allow him to relieve himself a little.
Then, traces of chains at the bottom of the legs can testify to abuse.
Finally, beware of videos classified as unusual and showing elephants supposedly “having fun”. The reality is different. The elephant was simply tortured for making the video in question. For Julien, the public has a responsibility in the face of this problem. He must educate himself and keep in mind an important idea: a trained elephant is always a mistreated elephant. We must therefore draw a line on circuses and other shows involving wild animals. “It is ignorance that allows this system to continue“, he concludes.