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This is the side of the elephant tourism industry they don't want you to know about.
If you are planning to travel to South East Asia and Thailand for a vacation or your gap year, please be careful where you spend your money.
One thing is certain, when traveling you will see businesses for elephant treks, elephant rides, and elephant shows where elephants play soccer, paint, and do unnatural tricks.
Rather than getting that picture for Instagram or social media of you riding an elephant, consider choosing to spend your money at sanctuaries where the elephants are able to live and behave more naturally.
If the tourist money is flowing to nature reserves and elephant rescues instead of rides and shows, the market will change itself and life will improve for these gentle animals.
This film was made in collaboration with the amazing @blakedavey
Huge thank you to Lek with Elephant Nature Park
Get involved: https://www.saveelephant.org/
Thank you to Leanne Fogarty with Elephanatics
Thank you to PETA for the Phajaan (Elephant Crush) footage
See more of what I'm up to
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October 1, 2017