Unfortunately, many tourists unknowingly contribute to the plight of the elephant and its suffering while visiting parks on vacation that claim to be a sanctuary or rescue. The truth is many of these elephants suffer in chains apart from their mothers and are part of a larger industry that requires young elephants to be broken or “crushed” in an extremely painful ritual. It’s also known as “phajaan.” If you’re not sure if a sanctuary you’re visiting is ethical, here are some suggestions to make sure your money isn’t contributing to their suffering. Check the GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries) website which is a database full of accredited sanctuaries. Upon visiting ask yourself these questions, which pose red flags:
Are the elephants interacting with humans all day long 7 days a week?
Are they kept in chains and dominated by hooked sticks?
Are the needs and interest of the elephant number one, or are the tourists’?
Are the elephants being ridden?
DO NOT support any park that involves riding or chains. Elephants are highly intelligent, social, and emotional. For more information visit: this article