Abolishment of the sickening elephant shows at Nong Nooch Garden, Thailand

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I have just come back from a holiday in Thailand and thought I had signed up for a tour around a botanical garden (Nong Nooch Garden) yesterday; little did I know that there were elephant shows in this park too. First I saw a tiger who was lying meekly on a bench and people could sit next to him for a photo opportunity. When the tiger made what was perceived to be a threatening move, he was hit hard on his head with a wooden stick. The tiger went numb with pain. The elephant show followed. The elephants were urged on to perform by their trainers, who used bull hooks, or by pulling the elephants' ears. The elephants painted trees, played basket ball, played darts, and bowed to the cheering public whenever they had broken a balloon or scored a point. Between their acts, they begged for bananas from the public. I spent some time with the elephants before the show, but I could not get any contact with them. They seemed brainwashed, tired, and interested in bananas only, perhaps to side-track themselves, as if eating bananas the whole time will take their mind off their entertainment duties. The elephants are chained to fences, swaying neurotically, when they do not take tourists for walks or perform in the show. It was heartbreaking to watch. There are several elephant shows a day, so they must be working very hard, performing and taking tourists for rides. I was especially abhorred to see so many parents taking their children to the park for their entertainment. The children are taught that this is acceptable. The parents seemed only interested in the perfect picture opportunity. We have to stop the tourism industry from profiting from what should be wild animals. Please may I call on you to sign this petition? I will present this to the Thai autorities and the park, and hopefully we can achieve something for the elephants. Thank you so very much. Francine van den Berg, London, UK. Email: francine_vandenberg@yahoo.it