‘Skeletal’ baby elephant called Dumbo forced to head bang to rave music as zoo visitors laugh
Monday - 08/04/2019 15:59
Sickening footage of a baby elephant performing for tourist amusement has shocked tens of thousands around the world.
Sickening footage of a baby elephant being “forced to rave” for the amusement of backpackers and tourists has shocked tens of thousands around the world.
The “skeletal” calf is also made to play musical instruments for visitors at Phuket Zoo in Thailand and clearly looks distressed by its unnatural ordeal.
The behind-the-scenes clip, unearthed by The Independent, shows the elephant being made to bang her head to rave music as laughing tourists watch on.
Inside an arena, other elephants were forced to stand in a line, one hitting a cymbal with a drumstick, while the baby “played” the harmonica.
The investigators described the scenes as “heartbreaking, shocking and alarming”, with the animals living in fear of painful punishment or “training”.
Activist group Moving Animals is now campaigning for the stricken animal — dubbed a real-life Dumbo — to be moved to a sanctuary.
When not dancing in front of the public, the elephant is kept chained up and often seen sucking on her trunk — which animal behavioural experts say is a clear sign of distress.
Amy Jones, from Moving Animals, told The Independent: “Tourists’ money pays to keep this young elephant in captivity, and she will spend the rest of her life forced to perform day after day.
“Shocking photos also reveal her skeletal body, raising concerns of possible malnourishment and exhaustion.”
A petition, which has already been signed more than 26,000 times, says: “The tiny infant is made to ‘perform’ for tourists up to three times a day in shows that include ‘raving’ to loud music, ‘playing’ musical instruments and performing tricks.
“Eyewitness footage and images have also revealed her skeletal body, raising concerns of possible malnourishment and exhaustion.
“When she is not performing, she stands on display for tourists, all while silently sucking on her trunk for comfort — a sign of distress seen when infant elephants are without their mother.
“We must stop this from being her fate for the rest of her life.”
It continues: “No elephant should have to live in such heartbreaking conditions. And ‘Dumbo’ deserves to spend the rest of her life in a place where she can feel happiness and peace.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission