Why do you allow people to ride these elephants -- isnt that discouraged among elephants that are being rehabilitated?
I was just there two days ago and you were allowed to ride elephants and was not happy about it.
I am not an expert, and not sure what research you have done, but I think there is a distinction between Indian Elephants and African Elephants...the Indian Elephants are not suitable for riding, whereas the African Elephant is stronger, bigger and more equipped for it.
I don't believe in riding the elephants, I took a walk with them.
Firstly, there is a distinction between an elephant bare-back ride and an elephant back safari. The Elephant Sanctuary that we visited offer very short bare-back rides of around 7 to 10 minutes and a limited number of rides per day. There is also a very strict weight limit for riding which they enforce diligently. This way there is NO possible injury to the elephants, and they also get the needed exercise and stimulation, something they enjoy immensely if done right. It is also part of the bonding process between elephant keeper and the elephant.
They do not condone any extended periods of "elephant back Safaris", with or without saddles.
The Elephant Sanctuaries Group are being held as best practise standard in South Africa, a fact that they are very proud of.
I can confirm that the elephants there are in excellent condition, not displaying any of the behaviour and signs associated with elephants that are abused. And I witnessed the bond between the elephant caretakers and their charges.
This is good to know if they have stopped including/offering elephant back rides. We visited in April 2015 and it was very much part of the visitor offering. I was curious to know why this was offered when most sanctuaries don't encourage rides of any sort.
We visited the sanctuary in May and it is not allowed to ride the elephants. These two bulls have been rescued and have lived there over 10 years. You may walk trunk in hand or brush them. They really like it. They won't be rehabilitated. There are just too many elephants in South Africa. The sanctuary does a fine job educating people about elephants. The activities are probably just enough to cover the expenses on food and accomodation of these giant animals.
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