Thailand zoo elephants forced to perform cruel tricks finally rescued by sanctuary – Totally Vegan Buzz

Thailand zoo elephants forced to perform cruel tricks finally rescued by sanctuary

Thailand zoo elephants forced to perform cruel tricks finally rescued by sanctuary
Image: @saveelephantfoundation / Instagram

After years of confinement, the two elephants will finally taste freedom in their new 250-acre sanctuary home.

A pair of performing elephants who have spent years entertaining people at Thailand’s Phuket Zoo have finally been rescued.

Elephant Nature Park (ENP)- a 250-acre sanctuary, which rescued elephants Tang Mo and San Mueng said that animals at this zoo were made to perform several tricks including dancing to music, playing musical instruments and throwing basketballs several times in a day under the threat of a sharp ‘bullhook’.

Last year, Moving Animals- a photography and video project dedicated to raising awareness about animal abuse worldwide, released footage of the abuse meted out to both Tang Mo and San Mueng, as well as a baby elephant nicknamed Dumbo, who later died.

The investigation showed that after being forced to perform cruel tricks, the elephants were kept chained in a small enclosure, where the animals kept swaying repeatedly in distress- a sign of a psychological condition called ‘zoochosis’.

But now with the pandemic stalling Thailand’s most crucial source of revenue- tourism, zoos and elephant camps across Asia have shut down and released or abandoned their animals.

View this post on Instagram

Freedom at last! We are overwhelmed to share that San Mueang and Tang Mo – Dumbo’s two elephant companions at Phuket Zoo – have just been released into @elephantnaturepark, a 250-acre sanctuary where they will live out the rest of their lives together and free from exploitation (swipe for photos). Thank you to @saveelephantfoundation for your tireless work to rescue these elephants. Last year, Moving Animals released an investigation into the abuse of a baby elephant nicknamed “Dumbo” at Phuket Zoo, Thailand. Concerns were raised about his “skeletal” body and over 200,000 people called for his release to a sanctuary. Tragically, before he could be rescued, Dumbo passed away after his weak back legs snapped beneath him. Dumbo, San Mueang, and Tang Mo were forced to “rave” to music, “play” musical instruments and perform tricks for tourists’ entertainment. The lengthy performances were held up to three-times-a-day, all under the threat of the sharp “bullhook”. When we visited the zoo, we filmed these elephants swaying repeatedly in distress – a sign of the psychological condition ‘zoochosis’. Now, as Phuket Zoo faces closure amid the current pandemic, the amazing elephant sanctuary @elephantnaturepark (ENP) has stepped in to give the pair of elephants their permanent freedom. “We believe in the healing, beautiful bond these two share and we can’t wait to see them enjoy the rest of their lives together as they remember what it feels like to be an elephant,” says Ry Emmerson, of Elephant Nature Park. Since Covid-19 hit, ENP has stepped in to support almost 2000 elephants with their daily needs, which has only been possible thanks to their incredible supporters from around the world. If you’re able to, please consider making a donation to support their life-changing work for animals at elephantnaturepark.org. We published this story with @people to help get this story of hope and change out to as many people as possible. Link in bio to read more. 📷 Exploited by tourism, Phuket Zoo, Thailand. Amy Jones/Moving Animals & Free in the sanctuary, Thailand 2020/@saveelephantfoundation

A post shared by Moving Animals (@moving.animals) on

‘No revenue’

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left Thailand bankrupt of its most crucial source of revenue, tourism,” ENP’s Ry Emmerson said.

“This has had a direct effect on Thailand’s elephants leaving them in a very precarious situation facing lack of daily needs such as food and care.”

While the animal shelter has rescued many such elephants during the pandemic, Emmerson added that the sanctuary is heavily dependent on donations to ensure proper upkeep and maintenance of the new inmates.

“Since Covid-19 hit, we have stepped in to support almost 2000 elephants with their daily needs.”

‘Time to heal’

 While Tang Mo and San Mueng are enjoying their new found freedom strolling in the vast expanse of the sanctuary, the keepers state the elephants will take some time to adjust to the new surroundings.

“As the two have spent the majority of their lives at the zoo, the transition will take time,” Emmerson said.

“We believe in the healing, beautiful bond these two share and we can’t wait to see them enjoy the rest of their lives together as they remember what it feels like to be an elephant.”

You can learn more about Elephant Nature Park and support their efforts here.

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