FYI: Your search opens in a new window.
Close the window to return here.

FYIThai Blog

These are in order from newest to oldest...

Feb 20, 2020

What’s your viewpoint on the ethics of using “tamed” wild animals as Tourist Attractions?

For instance: Elephant riding and Tiger photo-ops.

On my first trip to Thailand in 2006, I had no concerns whatsoever about going on a short trek as a rider of an elephant, nor taking my picture with two semi-comatose tigers. At least, I hoped they were… at a minimum… well fed and patient… the tigers I mean…

It’s almost a decade and a half later, and I’ve paid attention to the concerns of animal activists and the like. But, I’m still not sure that it’s as huge a problem as the vociferous naysayers claim.

I can agree that elephant training methods may be vicious and harmful, long term, to the elephant. And that those patient snoozing tigers are drugged. But I have no actual experience here.

But I do fear that it’s true…

So I no longer go for an elephant ride… not advocate taking photos right next to a tiger.

I do advocate visiting any of several ethical rescue parks for elephants. My cousin Libby went for 2 days to the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai, and was thrilled with how the rescued elephants were rehabilitated, treated well, and allowed to roam free… albeit within a small sanctuary.

Read her story.

Continue reading "What’s your viewpoint on the ethics of using “tamed” wild animals as Tourist Attractions?"