No One Needs To Ride An Elephant

9,789 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

32.63% Complete

Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Help restore dignity to these beautiful animals by supporting a ban on elephant ride attractions across the U.S.


Sign this petition to show your support for a ban on elephant ride attractions in the United States.

Elephants are not domesticated in the sense that dogs and cats have become [1], and they are certainly not being treated with the same love and compassion pets are given.

The elephant trade has attracted its fair share of illegal activity. Poachers capture and sell elephants to the tourism industry hoping to make money using the animals as attractions. The process to break and train an elephant for riding often involves brutal methods, much worse than a horse would experience [2].

Sadly, many people are not above paying for the "entertainment" of riding abused and broken elephants. In 2016, an elephant died of heart attack and heat stroke while carrying passengers around Angkor Wat, Cambodia [3]. In 2006 in Massachusetts, two men were putting children on an elephant's back when the animal bumped them, breaking one man's arm. In 2009 in Indiana, a frightened circus elephant knocked over a mobile stairway, injuring several children [4].

There are too many other stories of terror and tragedy to name. And none of them would have occurred had restrictions against riding elephants been in place. Thankfully, public opinion toward elephant rides is shifting, and governments are taking notice.

Public comments left on the travel review site TripAdvisor show how unpopular elephant ride attractions are becoming [5]. More and more organizations, and even countries, are banning the business as well. Botswana put an end to elephant rides near the end of 2016 [6], while several dozen tourism companies, including UI Nederland, Intrepid Travel, Apollo, Albatros Travel, and World Expeditions have stopped working with businesses that sell elephant rides and shows [7].

In January 2016, international travel agency Thomas Cook dropped elephant rides and shows from its entertainment options after over 175,000 people signed a petition calling for the change [8].

Some have taken a hardline stance against elephant rides, but the World Society of the Protection of Animals maintains that highly endangered Asian elephants and other elephant species face greater threats today because of the tourism industry's promotion of these attractions. A demand for elephants means business for poachers [9], further endangering their survival.

Elephant exploitation is not concentrated in a single country, or even continent. Mistreatment of these animals has led to deaths in India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe, while more than half the animals were found to have suffered from abusive treatment and extreme restraint [10].

To let this cruel elephant exploitation continue in the United States is nothing more than privately sanctioned torture. End the suffering today. Sign the petition and save the elephants!

MORE ON THIS ISSUE

[1] Geoff Manchester (2014, May 21), "THIS IS WHY WE NO LONGER RIDE ELEPHANTS." Retrieved December 14, 2017 from https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/why-not-ride-elephants/

[2] Matthew Karsten (2017, August 9), "Why You Shouldn't Ride Elephants In Thailand." Retrieved December 14, 2017 from https://expertvagabond.com/elephants-in-thailand/

[3] Lilit Marcus (2016, April 28), "Should Elephant Riding Be Banned?." Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2016-04-28/should-elephant-riding-be-banned

[4] The Humane Society of the United States, "Please Don't Ride the Elephants." Retrieved December 14, 2017 from http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/circuses_entertainment/facts/elephant_rides_060109.html?credit=web_id86113267

[5] BBC News (2016, April 28), "Have we fallen out of love with elephant rides?" Retrieved December 14, 2017, from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36147265

[6] Don Pinnock (2016, December 15), "Botswana bans elephant-back rides." Retrieved December 14, 2017, from http://www.traveller24.com/FindYourEscape/Botswana/botswana-bans-elephant-back-rides-20161215

[7] Katherine LaGrave (2015, December 11), "Why Elephant Rides in India May Soon Be Banned." Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-12-11/why-elephant-rides-in-india-may-soon-be-banned

[8] Elisabeth Perlman (2016, April 26), "Campaigners Demand Ban On Tourists Riding Elephants." Retrieved December 20, 2017 from https://www.google.com/amp/www.newsweek.com/campaigners-demand-ban-tourists-riding-elephants-452647%3famp=1

[9] Kristina Pepelko (2014 May 22), "This Amazing Travel Company Is the First in the World to Ban Elephant Rides!" Retrieved December 19, 2017, from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/this-amazing-travel-company-is-the-first-in-the-world-to-ban-elephant-rides/

[10] Katherine LaGrave (2015, December 11), "Why Elephant Rides In India May Soon Be Banned." Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-12-11/why-elephant-rides-in-india-may-soon-be-banned

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The Petition:

Dear Secretary of the USDA,

Elephants are forced into cruel and torturous exhibitions nearly every day in the United States, and the citizens of this country implore you bring that to an end.

Elephants are wild animals, and while some have shown a great capacity for tolerance and compassion for humans, there are countless more who have been whipped into compliance by ruthless training methods. And once subjugated to work in a roadside attraction, they face an even worse fate.

In 2016, an elephant named Sambo collapsed and died of heart attack and heat stroke while carrying passengers around At Angkor Wat, in Cambodia. In 2006 in Massachusetts, two men were putting children on an elephant's back when the animal bumped them, breaking one man's arm. In 2009 in Indiana, a frightened elephant knocked over a mobile stairway, injuring several children at a circus.

There's no questioning the fact that this massive animals are just as dangerous as they are vulnerable to exploitation and overwork.

There are too many other stories of terror and tragedy to name. And none of them would have occurred had restrictions against riding elephants been put in place.

The tide of public opinion is shifting, and people are voicing their distaste for elephant rides and other cruel attractions. A number of tourism companies have even refused to work with businesses that profit from elephant tours and circuses.

There is no reason to allow this torture to continue. I demand you ban elephant rides in the United States immediately.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: