The Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group asks for all zoos and safari parks across Indonesia to totally stop as soon as possible all elephant ridings because this attraction is one of 10 cruellest wildlife attractions in the world. Scorpion sees that elephant riding has no educational value, but it will only make elephants suffer for the sake of amusement.
Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group senior investigator Marison Guciano states that elephant riding ranks in the top 10 cruellest animal attractions.
World Animal Protection, an international wildlife protection organisation, has issued a list of 10 cruellest animal attractions which includes elephant riding, dolphin show, masked monkey show, civet coffee travel, selfie photo with tiger, walking with lion, visiting sunbear park, holding a turtle, visiting snake farm, and kissing a cobra.
According to monitoring of Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, there are still many zoos and safari parks rely on elephant ride attractions to attract visitors.
Visitors are subject to a fee to be able to enjoy elephant riding. Some zoos which still use elephant riding in Indonesia are Taman Safari Indonesia, Bali Safari and Marine Park, Medan Zoo, Jambi Zoo and others.
According to Marison Guciano, elephant riding often exploited from morning till afternoon to take visitors around the areas of the zoo.
“Not long ago we were surprised by the death of an elephant riding which was carrying two tourists in Cambodia,” Marison said.
In addition, according to Marison Guciano, it is already a common knowledge that the elephants used for elephant riding, were allegedly previously tortured into docile and obedient to the commands of the mahout. Torture is done to create inferior feeling of the elephant to the mahout.
Marison hopes zoos and safari parks in Indonesia follow the ‘The Five Freedoms for Captive Wildlife, i.e.:
1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
2. Freedom from Discomfort - by providing appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease -.by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
5. Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.