Breaking eyewitness footage shows that the elephants exploited for Thailand’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament—being held THIS weekend—are repeatedly hit, gouged, and yanked with bullhooks (sharp rods that look like fireplace pokers) before, during, and after the event
One handler can be seen hitting an elephant on the head approximately 15 times.
Even though the horrifying footage proves that elephants suffer immensely for this tournament, it hasn’t stopped Dairy Queen, Hooters Asia, IBM, Johnnie Walker, Oman Air, Peroni Brewery, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and other companies from sponsoring it anyway.
Just to be clear: Elephants don’t naturally let humans ride on their backs for polo games or for any other reason. Handlers have to “break” them—that is, break their spirits—to get them to do this. These sensitive animals are chained and beaten until they’re so broken inside that they’re easy to control. When not being exploited for rides or performances, they’re deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them. They can’t even walk freely, as they’re often kept shackled with short chains.
Anyone who thinks slavery is wrong SHOULD NOT support this cruel and exploitative event. Looking at you, companies.
These highly social animals thrive in the company of their herds. They even grieve when their family members die and have mourning rituals, just as humans do. Elephants used for rides are torn away from their families as babies and routinely beaten—they’re degraded by handlers until they’re just a hollow shell of who they would have been in the wild.
Some companies get it: Tiger Tops—the organizer of the International Elephant Polo Competition—recently announced that it would stop hosting the event. In 2011, Guinness World Records Ltd. removed all references to elephant polo from the Guinness World Records books. And following discussions with PETA India, Carlsberg Group stopped sponsoring the Polo Cup.
But we need to keep taking action until every company stops supporting this reckless event and the cruel industry of elephant enslavement behind it.
Tell Dairy Queen, Hooters Asia, IBM, Johnnie Walker, Oman Air, Peroni Brewery, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to stop sponsoring the cruel event!