Elephant rides are not fun, and they do not belong as part of anyone’s vacation activities.
Yet, in Northern India at Amer Fort, many tourists flock to buy elephant rides up steep hills in the blistering heat. But underneath the tourists’ enjoyment, these animals live a miserable and painful life.
The elephants have little access to food, water, and shade — their feet collect sores from the hot paths, and many suffer from blindness and various infections and diseases.
The majority of elephants in this cruel industry are illegal — abducted from their families in the wild, trafficked at a very young age, confined in spaces so small they can’t move, and forced to live the rest of their lives in misery. Once old enough to be “trained,” they endure beatings with bullhooks — abused until their spirits are broken and they obey.