Elephants Beaten With Hooks And Chained Up At Nepalese Festival
Shocking footage of chained-up elephants being beaten with hooks at a Nepalese festival has been captured by animal rights campaigners.
The footage shows the defenceless animals repeatedly hit with bullhooks – a spear-like weapon with a sharp hook on one end – by trainers in an attempt to make them perform for tourists.
Another way trainers force elephants to participate at the Chitwan Elephant Festival, making them play football and give rides to visitors, is by violently yanking on their sensitive ears.
You can watch the footage below:
The elephants’ handlers, called mahouts, can be seen throughout the video beating the frightened animals with other weapons, such as sticks and makeshift wooden knives.
One particular mahout can be seen repeatedly jabbing a baby elephant behind the ear to force her to ‘play’ football. Immediately after the game, eyewitnesses at the festival said the animal had several ‘fresh, painful, and bloody’ wounds.
Although organisers of the Chitwan Elephant Festival claimed measures had been brought in to stop animal abuse, the footage – shared online by PETA – paints a much darker picture.
Elephants who are forced to perform in this way are controlled both through physical violence and psychological domination, as per PETA, and are constantly threatened by their mahouts to keep them afraid and submissive.
The animal rights organisation has reached out to the festival’s former sponsors, who have since cut ties with the event. However, the cruel festival is still set to take place again this year.
Jason Baker, the Senior Vice President of International Campaigns, said:
It is 2020 and the Chitwan authorities need to stop treating elephants like it’s 1820. They should focus tourism on the amazing local culture and leave the animals alone.
It’s not just the treatment of the elephants while they’re performing though; even when they’re not performing, the animals are kept in captivity and deprived of food, water and contact with other elephants.
In addition to this, when the elephants aren’t being forced to perform at the festival, they are instead used for ‘tourist rides’ for people visiting the area.
In fact, throughout Nepal, baby elephants are routinely beaten and subjected to other cruel forms of ‘training’, simply for the tourism industry.
You can write to the local governments that are funding this year’s festival here, to encourage them to stop supporting cruelty to animals.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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