Cheers from Big Ears!

Posted on 18 March 2016 by

Alyx Elliott

in the Animals in the wild blog

A landmark 100 tour operators have now pledged to stop selling elephant rides

It’s a fantastic milestone for our Wildlife. Not Entertainers campaign, with over 100 tour operators – including 25 in the UK – that have now committed to stop selling elephant rides to their customers. 

Right at this moment, thousands of wild animals are facing a lifetime of hidden misery all for the sake of a selfie, ride or cuddle with an unsuspecting tourist. In order for them to be tame enough to interact so closely with people, they have to be beaten, chained, and even drugged into submission. I saw this for myself first hand when I recently visited elephant and tiger camps in Southeast Asia. It was heart-breaking. 

An elephant chained to the ground standing on wet concrete

So the progress we’re making with tour operators is a fantastic victory for the elephants and other wild animals trapped in the entertainment industry, or destined to become so. If the current trend continues with tour operators continuing to back away, venues will soon not have the guaranteed income they need to keep selling elephant rides and other similar attractions. 

World Animal Protection is of course keen to see the cruelty stop – but we also need to think about what happens to the animals already captive at these places, and what the future might hold for them. That’s why we are working hard to find tour operators that are prepared to go the extra mile and invest in transforming existing wild animal parks into humane, safe sanctuaries – places where animals like elephants, tigers and lions are free to live and behave as naturally as possible, if they can’t be released back into the wild. 

It’s great that over 100 tour operators have joined us on this journey; but we need your help to convince many more. Join our campaign >>

Find out which tour operators have pledged to stop selling elephant rides >>

If you work for a tour operator and want to find out what your company can do, please contact 

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