Footage has appeared online of a Thai baby elephant being prodded and jabbed by bullhooks at an elephant camp in Thailand to prepare it for joining the tourism industry in the country.
The harrowing footage was released by a UK-based animal rights group called World Animal Protection (WAP) and was recorded secretly via hidden camera last year.
WAP says the secret footage shows forced separation of a two-year-old female elephant from her mother.
The young elephant is held in a small space, known as a “crush box” and kept in place using chains and ropes for days on end. In the video, she can be seen struggling to escape.
The footage also shows young elephant calves being prodded repeatedly with a bullhook, a lengthy rod with an extremely sharp tip, in an effort to make them understand certain commands. The bullhooks are seen causing bleeding on some elephants.
In Thailand, there are approximately 3,000 elephants working in the tourism sector where people can ride on their backs and watch them perform tricks during shows.
The treatment of elephants for tourist shows has long been protested by animal rights groups who say the elephants endure severe abuse in the industry and are tamed with the brutal “crush” process.
WAP did not release the location where the video was taken but has called urgently for a “complete overhaul of the way captive animals are treated before tourism gradually resumes following the collapse from covid-19.”
You can watch the undercover footage below. Please note that the video contains graphic footage:
Source: World Animal Protection