Elephants never forget the extreme brutality of their handler’s ‘teaching’ methods
It is the very fact that an elephants never forgets that makes these animals so vulnerable to the sharp spikes driven into their heads or heated nails dug into the most sensitive parts of their huge bodies. To see the trailer go to youtube/RHLE1x4FRHk
UNWITTING tourists smiling at the antics of the planet’s most powerful creature are playing their part in a horrifying story of animal torture.
May 5th, 2013 To the thousands watching a young elephant painting pictures with its trunk or dancing with dainty footsteps on a Bangkok street, it is a comical scene of man’s mastery over a nature.
Tragically, few will realise the horrors these majestic animals suffer before surrendering to their handlers’ brusque commands.
It is the very fact that an elephants never forgets that makes these animals so vulnerable to the sharp spikes driven into their heads or heated nails dug into the most sensitive parts of their huge bodies.
Beatings handed out in an ancient six-day ritual called “Phajaan” crushes a young elephant’s spirit so that it accepts being paraded through the smoggy streets of Thailand’s most popular tourist hots-pots to put on degrading shows rather than face more pain.
The shameful story of Thailand’s elephants and they way they are broken is to be exposed in a shocking new television documentary.
An Elephant Never Forgets sees presenter Joe Keogh visiting the Far East and talking to some of the 870,000 Britons who visit Thailand, revealing to them the horrors of Phajaan.
This age-old ceremony originates among remote hill tribes and sees elephant calves bound and forced into tiny enclosures where the handlers, or mahouts, drive spikes into their heads while chanting a prayer which translates as “elephant, if you stop struggling then we won’t hurt you”.
Half the elephants do not survive. Many go crazy and have to be destroyed. Others become aggressive and 100 mahouts are killed by their animals every year.
Documentary-makers Groundbreak Productions were invited to Thailand by an animal welfare charity to look at how tourist cash is supporting the practice of Phajaan.
During filming, the production crew met an award-winning animal rights activist called Lek who has been at the heart of raising awareness of the country’s tortured elephants as well as caring for them at a sanctuary.
Matthew Hunt, of Groundbreak Productions, said: “We’re determined to get the exposure the elephants deserve; it’s a cause which is genuinely close to our hearts.
“Visiting Lek’s sanctuary is an amazing experience. Filming elephants bathing and roaming around so naturally was awe-inspiring. At the same time, it was heartbreaking to imagine what elephants were experiencing in the hellish camps.”
Film-makers say the documentary also explores the difference between elephant sanctuaries, camps and zoos.
Mr Hunt added: “Sanctuaries protect elephants, caring for animals which have been tortured and abandoned, and at the same time support the local economy through responsible tourism.
“They also use positive reinforcement techniques so that the elephants can be enjoyed without resorting to extreme treatment, proving it is possible to admire the great beauty of elephants and generate revenue without causing undue suffering to such a magnificent species.”
The full film is due to be released in 2013 and will be shown on television stations around the globe, including the UK.
To see the trailer go to youtube/RHLE1x4FRHk
THE SOURCE: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/397145/Elephants-never-forget-the-extr eme-brutality-of-their-handler-s-teaching-met hods