The skeletal elephant being called "the real-life dumbo" has been forced to dance in the zoo to entertain the visitors. The incident was caught on camera.
Animal cruelty is a major issue across the world. Wild animals are usually tortured and made to do all sort of tricks and stunts in order to impress crowds in the zoo. A zoo is a place where people go to see the animals and learn about them. Firstly, keeping animals caged up is something that needs to be changed, they deserve to be in their natural habitat so they can live their lives like they were meant to. Secondly, if they are in a zoo, they should not be forced into doing things aren't meant to do. Recently, footage of an elephant being forced to dance to rave music in a Thai zoo was released and spread across social media. The video shows a baby elephant named 'Dumbo' being forced to perform tricks at Phuket Zoo.
Campaigners have taken up this issue very seriously. They claim that the baby elephant is made to perform up to three times a day under the threat of a sharp bullhook in the shows. Each of the shows is around 20 minutes long. The footage that was released shows the elephant being tortured and made to perform for the visitors in the zoo while everyone just stands around and cackles. The fault is not only of the zoo but also the visitors who seem to enjoy watching things like this without realizing what the animals are being put through. They encourage zoos to mistreat animals in such a way.
The heartbreaking clip shows the skeletal infant, dubbed a 'real-life Dumbo', and two adults nodding their heads and stamping its feet as there is rave music blasting on the speakers in the background. During the performance, the trainers scrape the animals with bullhooks to remind them that they would be poked by sharp objects in case they failed to perform. As reported by The Independent, one of the investigators who filmed the entire incident saw one elephant being jabbed by a trainer, while some of the older animals were made to swing hoops around their trunks.
The footage also showed one of the elephants moving away from the podium it was supposed to stand on. The trainer pulled the animal back into place by its ear. Behind-the-scenes footage was also released by the investigators. This footage shows the animals clearly in distress while they are sucking on their own trunks and dancing repeatedly. Amy Jones of Moving Animals, the organization behind the undercover footage, said, "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."
Jones continued, "Shocking photos also reveal her skeletal body, raising concerns of possible malnourishment and exhaustion." She further revealed that she came across an elephant that was trapped in her concrete enclosure. The animal was tugging onto her chain in order to grab the attention of the investigators. The investigators, from activist group Moving Animals, described the scenes as "heartbreaking, shocking and alarming" with the animals living in fear of painful punishment or "training".
She further added, "We watched as tourists laughed and took selfies, while the baby elephant stood with her eyes closed, quietly sucking her trunk. The cruel life she will endure is heartbreaking.”
Ever since the footage was released and spread across social media platforms, a petition has been started calling for the release of the elephants into a sanctuary. The petition has been signed around 24,000 times already. The zoo should be shut down and everyone responsible for such acts should be punished.
The petition reads, "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. 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."