Elephant back safaris/rides

Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 04:17 AM
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Elephant back safaris/rides

As most of the regular members of Fodors know, the capture and training of wild elephants for elephant back safaris/rides, zoos and ciruses is brutal and inhumane for the animals. Talk is now going on in South Africa before a decision is made whether or not to outlaw this cruel treatment.

For those of you who may be planning your first safari and think it a good idea to ride an elephant, I hope you will take the time to read the information given by Joyce Poole before making your decision to deal with companies that offer this. Joyce Poole is one of the world's authorities on elephants. She knows all too well of the cruelty that takes place at the time of breaking these animals, and she also knows the some times tragic results. Please read her speech posted on: www.elephanttrust.org/node/376 to the South African government carefully before you decide on an elephant back safari. Elephanttrust.org was moving their server last night and was down. They are now up again but with minor glitches. If you cannot access this important letter on the elephanttrust website you can read it on: www.bushdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?id=644.

If South Africa cannot make the obvious humane decision regarding these elephants, then perhaps tourists should think in terms of boycotting South Africa.

I hope you will take the time to access this important information.
JanGoss is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Thank you Jan for bringing this to our attention. Hopefully the govt. will ban this.
matnikstym is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 06:14 PM
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What about India, rest of Asia? working elephants, elephant back safaris, temple elephants etc etc.,?
HariS is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 06:26 PM
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...and thinking about the 'Abu clan' - let's boycott Botswana!

(not meant seriously)
nyama is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:17 AM
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May I add that not only is this a cruel and unnatural practice it is totally alien to Africa. The fact that elephants are used in India has some basis in history but if you experience it you will see that is just as barbaric.
I think there was an article in Africa Geographic a couple of years ago which had very few points pro this.
Why just pick on South Africa, this activity is now offered in many other counties notably Botswana at that well known nature reserve Abu. South Africa is at least doing something about it nowhere else semms to be.
Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Having experienced Camp Jabulani and the history of the elephants I believe that the camp serves a purpose. The elephants were rescued from a farm in Zimbabwe. The elephants are housed in a beautiful open air stables. They are not tied up and they are allowed to roam the area around the stables during the days.

I did have mixed feelings about going to Camp Jabulani, but to see how active the owner of Camp Jabulani is with the Hoedspruit Endangered Center. She has the best interest of the elephants in mind.

Are there some cases of animal abuse?...yes. Should those situations be resolved...yes. But before you go about banning all elephant back safaris you need to experience them all. If I would have seen something that I did not like at Camp Jabulani I would have posted it here.

Scott Fredricksen

PS...I have no tie to Camp Jabulani except that I was a guest there in October 2007.
scootr29 is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 01:04 AM
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If I am following your logic correctly then iy must be the case that we should not object to Lion hunting unless we have hunted lions, or object to persons who authorise the execution of mentally retarded people because we have not executed one.
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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See I hesitated even responding to this post because I knew someone would take my example to an extreme measure and you just did sniktawk.

Do we ban all adoption of children because one person who adopted a kid beats them? Do we stop all adoption of dogs and cats because one person who adopted them leaves them out in the cold? How about the millions of horses and camels around the world? Humans should never ride them.

Same thing with elephant back safaris...the organizations that are not responsible and treat the animals inhumanely should not be able to run their business. That is a given. But I believe that the companies that are doing good should not be shut down because someone writes an article stating that all elephant back safaris are evil.

And what country executes mentally retarded people? Maybe you should be more concerned with that.

Scott Fredricksen

scootr29 is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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scootr29 is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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First, of all-everyone has a right to their opinion, please do not turn this into a political site.

I just returned from Zambia and participated in the Livingstone elephant outreach program with Gerald. This was a very well organized operation, the elephants were all rescued from Zimbabwe and several have since had babies. They are allowed to roam the property, and the entire experience was very positive. More importantly, this program is educating people from around the world on the plight of the elephant and every little bit helps.

These elephants are only ridden for one hour, twice each day-and provided a once in a lifetime opportunity to us, and the other guests. It is also providing an income source for the elephant keepers, and an option for the elephants orphaned which otherwise would be dead.

All these elephants were brought to the Livingstone elephant outreach program by farmers who could no longer care for the growing elephants rescued as babies when the parents were killed for their tusks. That is were the outrage needs to be directed.

ShellCat is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Any interaction with humans endangers the elephants - especially when baby elephants are present.

If something were to go wrong that elephant would be shot on the spot.

Maybe a better alternative to provide for these rescued animals would be to stay at a less expensive hotel for one night and donate the price difference the organization.
tinlizzy2 is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Shellcat you and I understand what the experience is about.

scootr29 is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Domesticated wildlife cannot be successfully rehabituated into a natural eco-system. To save such animals from eternal misery they should be euthanized.

So JanGoss that would be the most humane way of dealing with the problem. Once done then I guess we can all start from square one sans domesticated wildlife to complement our perfect world.
mkhonzo is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I thought the elephant back safaris were the neatest thing at first and maybe it did start out as an orphan rescue program in some locations.

I think the Vic Falls program does treat the elephants humanely because they separate people from them most of the day. No need for chains and I bet the elles stick around for the free food.

Those farmers who bring the babies to the program are, I'm sure, the ones who shot their mothers to keep them out of their crops.

Abu camp chains their elephants in their stables as I'm sure all camps do to ensure the safety of their guests.

No one should feel bad about choices to interact with elephants so far...BUT...It's becoming a money making venture and more camps are adding elephant safaris.



Like all things, abuses will occur and money will be put above all else. There are only 23,000 lions left in all of Africa and 12,000 black rhino (minus 3). Hunting in SA is a R 5.5 million dollar a year business and SA and Botswana will not care about elephants chained in stables as long as the tourist is spending money in their country.

Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to dictate what is tolerable and what is not.

No judgment, just my opinion.

tinlizzy2 is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Jan, thanks for the information. Joyce Poole knows what she's talking about.
Nyamera is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2007, 01:59 AM
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I seem to owe you a response to your question regarding the execution of mentally retarded people. The answer is Texas, the person who failed to give a pardon was the former governor who is now employed alsewhere.

I still think that the use of Elephants in the Safari business should be banned, however if people want to run rescue and rehabilitation centres then this is perfectly OK, but do not make the elephants into a circus exhibit.
Old Nov 26th, 2007, 05:41 AM
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Ah yes I remember that case...again there are 2 sides to every story....just like the elephant back safari business. It is amazing what the human mind can do.

So do you think we must ban all safaris in Africa? Driving, walking, elephant back, because it essence the animals are on display for us.

PS...when in doubt blame it on Bush.
scootr29 is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2007, 06:07 AM
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Sniktawk...you and I have turned this into a political thread. We have also made our points about elephant back safaris. For the benefit of others on this forum...if you want to continue this conversation we need to do it via email. We do not need to be airing our political feelings on this forum.

Thanks in advance.

scootr29 is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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Yor last comments are as bemusing as the earlier ones.

My position is quite clear Elephant Back Safaris should be banned, they are as previously stated alien to Africa. You believe they are OK I do not.
I have no objection to the use of feet or vehicles to go on safari.
Quite how you interpret the comments in the manner you do is beyond me, but I suppose it is a free world, for some.
Old Nov 26th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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I am glad I can bemuse. If you want to continue this conversation feel free to email me.

Thanks in advance.

scootr29 is offline  
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