Another major step has been taken to put the brakes on elephant rides once and for all.
The latest victory in the fight to protect elephants from this extraordinarily cruel form of exploitation comes courtesy of a recent Care2 petition that put pressure on major tourist book publisher, Lonely Planet, to take a stand against elephant rides.
The petition, which was started by Care2’s own Lacey Kohlmoos after she discovered the company was still promoting elephant rides in the popular guidebooks and on its website, generated more than 150,000 signatures.
Most people who sign up for this one-time popular tourist attraction do not realize that they are contributing to an industry that causes major suffering and abuse. Often, baby elephants are forcibly separated from their mothers, and tied down and beaten into submission before they carry travelers on their backs.
Fortunately, as awareness continues to grow, the promotion and subsequent interest in riding elephants are declining.
Responding to the pressure, Lonely Planet, which has enormous influence over what attractions tourists choose to visit, has stopped promoting elephant rides.
The company has also pledged to only include information regarding such activities when they are an unavoidable part of the experience of a destination, and always with information clearly stating why elephant rides should be avoided.
“Lonely Planet does not recommend travelers take elephant rides,” the company said in a statement. Further, it explained that the guidebook content is produced in accordance with its editorial guidelines that state that Lonely Planet does not condone animal cruelty and, hence, does not promote elephant rides and or shows.
The move follows a welcome trend of a growing number of travel companies making the compassionate decision to eliminate promoting any activities that exploit elephants.
Unfortunately, Fodor’s, the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information, is still sending tens of thousands of people to elephant ride attractions every year.
Please sign Care2’s latest petition to demand that Fodor’s follow the lead of Lonely Planet by making a commitment to stop promoting elephant rides and shows on their website and in their books as well.