Is it safe to ride an elephant?

March 14, 2020 | By dw
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No, it is not safe for tourists to ride an elephant. Elephants are wild animals, and despite years of breaking in, sudden triggers like fear or stress can cause them to retaliate against their abusers. This results in a dangerous rampage in which multiple people are killed or injured and substantial damage is done to property. Very often, in a bid to escape their torturous lives, these elephants run amuck – putting at risk the lives of tourists and bystanders nearby, as well as the persons riding them. In 2005, two Belgian tourists in Jaipur were injured and their tour guide killed by an elephant when they were trying to take a picture with it. In 2011, a South Korean couple was critically injured after the elephant they were riding at Amer Fort started to run amuck, throwing the two from her back.

In addition, elephants in captivity lead stressful lives and are exposed to and carry contagious diseases like tuberculosis, which their weakened immunities are unable to tackle – and this can easily pass this on to other elephants or any human that interacts with them.

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