My husband wants us to go elephant riding while we're at Victoria Falls. I think it sounds abusive to train animals to do that. I have heard much about Thailand, but are there any reports about the elephant camps in South Africa?
Hi, my experience too is based on Asian elephants. However, it is worth bearing in mind that for an elephant to be compliant to allow people to ride it, it needs to be 'broken' - this is done when it is a baby. It is a horrific experience. If you are brave enough, google 'elephant phajaan' or 'elephant crush'. But be warned, you will see the plight of elephants in a whole new way. After this elephants are typically controlled by using a bull hook, or similar, on their sensitive ears.
If you want an elephant experience, I would recommend trying to see them in the wild or visiting a rescue centre that doesn't include rides or use cruel methods - don't be afraid to ask the camps you are looking at as it is the only way to drive change. (And, I recommend Elephant Nature Park, if you go to Thailand at any point).
I hope this helps. almost 5 years ago