A rainy day in Phuket and free of any plans left us with the idea to head to Phuket Town for some sight seeing, on the way our driver suggested going on an elephant ride in hind sight obviously was scamming us trying to get commission from the business operators.
We thought what the hell, when in Rome.
We arrived at the complex which has the shooting range, go-carts and elephant 'trekking'.
We paid an expensive $30 each and quickly ushered inpolietly to where the elephants were.
I was feeling excited and giddy that I would see elephants, as soon as I saw them I welled up with sadness and regret.
What we saw were numerous elephants chained together in small unkept quarters, scared from bullhook wounds.
We were not given any opportunity to meet and greet the elephants, not even to see its face, we were ushered straight on and were off.
I fought back tears and sadness the whole time.
The elephant instructor sat on its head with his feet pressured behind its ears, he used a bullhook ( looks like a pick axe) and controlled the elephant by putting it deep into its ear canal, clearly causing it great discomfort and pain.
The poor creature was clearly hungry as it was desperately trying to eat some food, to which the controller would not allow.
We trudged through a filfthy yard, scattered with rubbish and debri everywhere then stopped and the controller turned around and offered us to buy ivory. Disgraceful.
We naturally refused and took the elephant back to its pen. On the way what else should we see but a cockfight on the way.
Once back at the pen we were quickly ushered off and sent to the 'gift' shop.
I refuse to spend another dime at such a place, exploit animals with such negligence.
They also had a young baby elephant, no more than 12 months chained up, and for a price you could see the poor thing do tricks. No thanks!!
Very sad experience. DO NOT recommend.
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