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Curious Gecko will not offer any trips which include elephant riding and elephant shows. Training to prepare elephants for riding and to perform in shows is very harsh and starts from a young age and in many training programmes extremely cruel. Continued control and direction of the of the elephant often requires further poking and prodding with bull hooks to control them in these activities. Curious Gecko avoid the selling of any trips which involve such methods. Riding can also cause a harsh physical toll on the elephants, elephants working for elephant camps and trekking operators work their elephants for many hours per day with steel seating frames on their backs.
The bull hook
Curious gecko do feel that if essential and not overused then we do accept that a bull hook can be used to control the elephant and ensure the clients safety. However the elephant partners we have chosen to work with own elephants that are normally easily controlled by food and the promise of a cooling bath and scrub in the river or mud pond. These are activities the elephants enjoy and very rarely need any prodding with the bull hook to get them to do these things. The mahout owners of the current elephant camp we do use a bull hook to control their elephants, if you are uncomfortable with this please do not book the trips with the elephant interaction.
Update: Currently Curious Gecko are not taking our customers to any elephant facility where a bull hook is used.
Curious Gecko feel that some bareback riding is OK as long as the elephant is not forced into riding for long hours everyday. The elephant camp we currently use does offer one daily short bareback ride for some other tour groups it works with, but we have requested them not to provide any riding to our clients as we feel it is not in the best interest of the elephant.
Update: Currently Curious Gecko are not taking our customers to any elephant facility where riding is allowed.
“If elephants feature in our tours then we aim to offer only positive experiences with well cared for elephants”
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