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This is the place for you to ask your travel questions and share your tips. To search for particular topics, go to categories and choose a relevant topic
My name is Charlotte Wilkie and I am from Falmouth University. As part of my course I am completing a research project on wildlife tourist attractions in Thailand. I am trying to test my hypothesis that there is no future for the cruel tourist attractions that feature elephants performing tricks. Please could you fill out my survey to help me gather your opinions on the matter? It will only take about 2 minutes to complete!
I participated in your survey. I find your research very important. I, personally, visited Thailand and wrote about Thailand's attractions and tourist destinations.
Then, I heard from news that some of these wildlife tourist destinations are actually abusing the elephants. I removed all the sections promoting these kinds of activities. If visiting Thailand and wanted to check out the wildlife, there are safe sanctuaries that allows guests to watch the animals and have a close encounter without harming them. Plus the cost of tours also goes to the maintenance of the animals. Your research can help abolish cruelties to the animals, but should also encourage tourists to refrain from seeing elephant tricks, and just check out the wildlife in the sanctuaries with their natural habitat instead.
I've been in Thailand for around three years, and am sad to say that there are still elephant rides. One piece of good news is that the elephant rescue and orphanage sanctuary on Phuket has opened to the public, so you can visit them (not ride them) in the knowledge that they are being rescued and cared for: http://www.phuketelephantsanctuary.org/
There's also a gibbon sanctuary on Phuket: https://www.gibbonproject.org/
Will answer your survey.
There are many genuine sanctuaries across Thailand where the elephants are very well cared for, often with one mahout (minder) per elephant almost full time, luxury caring indeed. They usually permit a couple of hours interaction with visitors each day (sometimes including short rides) and this is all very acceptable and commendable and indeed enjoyable for the animals. It most certainly is not all gloom and doom across Thailand!!
All visitors need to do to visit the right ones is some internet research. There are some within a day trip of both Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai, a little off the normal tourist trails. It is really important NOT TO go as part of an organised tour group, as they mainly frequent the bigger commercial ones that are often inhumane to the animals.
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