In Thailand, tourism is one of the main economic activities of the country. However, this industry brought with it some problems that severely affected the local fauna and flora, due to activities such as the use of elephants to cross foreign visitors. This was the case Pai Lin, an ugly elephant, about six tourists every day for 25 years.
In the Southeast Asian region, it is common to see elephants walking through the jungle or even through the streets of cities. At first glance, this may seem like an exciting and forgettable experience, but in reality it is a cruel and inhuman practice who puts the lives of these animals in danger.
After 25 years of service in the order; Pai Lin’s elephant column, 71, was destroyed by supporting the weight of tourists who mounted their backs to give the city of Turoni.
According to Tomás Palomares, an exotic animal veterinarian, elephants they are made only for their weight, because of the anatomy of their spine. Adding weight to them can represent a risk to their health, since the distribution of loads is more complicated for them than for other animals, due to the additional number of hours they have to work per day.
Elephants are wild animals that require special care and thrive in their natural environment. The fact that tourists are used to transport equipment forces them to work long hours under extreme conditions, with little rest and insufficient food.
“They are not meant to travel on hard surfaces such as asphaltbut the soft green grass that does not eat the feet”, says Palomares. The expert adds that pachyderms need to be quiet, as they do not usually stand still for long periods of time, so they usually use water to cool off and rest in natural areas.
“Animals that are used for tourism do not have this type of rest, they work under the sun, they are subjected to stress, they are injured by beatings, and they can go blind or deaf,” says the veterinarian.
According to Palomares, this problem arises because of the ignorance of people about these types of animals, when they are taken away from the size and hardness of the skin, which is not suitable for living in these conditions. “Although it is tough, elephant skin is very sensitive.“, he says.
For this reason, he proposes to establish an order of minimum requirements for animal welfare and to teach new generations about animal care.
As for himself, Pai Lin will be taken to the shelter where he can finally restthanks to the team at Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand (WFFT).
“When she came to WFFT, she was terrified, underweight, dehydrated, and with runny nose and eyes caused by a respiratory infection. She also had a lot of pressure point ulcers,” foundation spokeswoman Amy Jones told Newsweek.
Although he was released, Palomares commented It is possible that the elephant will not be able to regain the correct mobility due to the physical and neural damage he had to endure after such a long period of stress.