When travelling to other countries, many tourists enjoy participating in activities centered around exotic creatures.
Wildlife attractions like dolphin swimming, tiger selfies, and elephant rides are marketed as fun, exciting, and harmless interactions between people and animals, but the dark truth behind them is unbelievably cruel and heartbreaking.
Have you ever wondered why elephants let people ride on their backs? Well, here's a hint. It's not because they want to. From a very young age, babies are taken away from their mothers and put through torture to break their spirit. In the video below, people are using hidden nails in their hands to stab the elephants into submission.video-player-present
In order to be tamed, wild elephants in Asian countries like Thailand are confined to tiny spaces and are deprived of food and sleep, then poked, prodded, and stabbed. Fear of the pain is what eventually trains them to submit to human will.video-player-present
Once they're deemed ready to give rides, they're kept in line with bull hooks and sharp tools.video-player-present
When they aren't working, the elephants -- including their tiny babies -- spend all their time chained up in miserable conditions.video-player-present
So what can you do to help stop these cruel practices? One simple and very important way is to plan your vacations as animal friendly as possible by not paying or participating in wildlife tourist entertainment. This guide provides a helpful list of what to check for where you're visiting and how to research each venue.