Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Explore axes elephant rides from adventure itineraries

ADVENTURE travel company Explore has removed elephant riding from all of its itineraries. The decision was made after discussions with experts including the Born Free Foundation and the Mahouts* Elephant Foundation. 

Elephants are not domesticated and in captivity they have been 'broken' or trained to behave in a certain way. Elephant rides cause damage and deformities to their spines and the activity encourages illegal elephant poaching of young elephants being taken from their mothers. Poor treatment of elephants is often due to a lack of knowledge and education in the communities that own the animals.

John Telfer, product director at Explore says: ‘We have spent time deliberating the matter and given a lot of thought to the consequences for the local communities and people who make their living by offering elephant rides. For this reason we shall work with Mahouts Elephant Foundation in 2016 to support their work in educating local people on how to offer alternative experiences to travellers, such as elephant walking safaris in the wild. We will also continue to look at ways in which we can safely take our customers to see these creatures in their natural environment.”

Sarah Blaine from Mahouts Elephant Foundation commented: ‘We're delighted to be working with Explore to help them move forward with how their guests inter-act with elephants. Our philosophy of working collaboratively with mahouts and their communities to ensure all parties' benefit is unique. We have a clear understanding and appreciation that the elephant's welfare is dependent on their mahouts and their living conditions. This approach ensures that livelihoods are protected.’

*An elephant rider, trainer, or keeper


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32778871@N06/3722290213">Elephant Riding in Jaipur</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)

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