Elephant Calves in Horrific Conditions in Thailand

A report by the campaigning group Traffic has revealed shocking conditions in Thailand as wild elephant calves are trapped and beaten into submission as visitor attractions. The group claim 81 elephants have been seized from the wild in the past two years, seriously threatening the species’ survival.

In Thailand, current market value for a baby elephant calf is around £19,000. As a result, traffickers are luring the calves into pit falls before shooting the elder relatives. The calves are then transported to elephant camps, where they are tortured into tameness. Campaigners are calling for the Thai government to tighten restrictions on wildlife trafficking across the country before it is too late, with an aim not only to boost survival chances but improve the horrific conditions many calves are kept in.

Asian_Elephant_Calf_600

Ironically, in the wild the elephant has no natural predators. Lions will sometimes prey on young or weak elephants in the wild, however the main risk to elephants is actually from humans through poaching and changes to their habitat.

Here’s hoping CITES‘ meeting in Switzerland this week delivers real strategy for action against this barbaric trade.

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