The images here are from the first place we went to two years ago in Chiang Mai. I feel the need to share them because this was such a solemn and hard moment to witness.
I remember seeing the purple on different areas of their bodies, especially the ears and not knowing why. These are from wounds the mahouts have inflicted on them so they listen to them.
Elephants are poked with nails in the ears, in which the mahout covers from people. The bullhook is also used in order for the elephants to be trained and listen to commands.
The sanctuary where these pictures were taken did use hooks, but they said “for emergency only.”
When you look into their eyes, what do you see?
The post at the bottom is of a street elephant, which I did not see during my time in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but this DOES happen!
What do you say to those who allow this to happen?
Mahouts used to be seen as respectful men who loved their elephants and they were family.
Would you do this to your loved ones?