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Baby Elephants tortured mercilessly in Thailand

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In Thailand, approximately 3,800 of the country's estimated 5,000 endangered Asian elephants are in private hands. Most are used as tourist attractions in elephant camps where they are forced to perform circus tricks and give rides. PETA U.S. has uncovered the horrific torture that is routine in Thailand's secret "training" camps. Still-nursing baby elephants are literally dragged from their mothers, kicking and screaming. They are immobilized, beaten mercilessly, and gouged with nails for days at a time. These ritualized "training" sessions leave the elephants badly injured, traumatized, or even dead.
In a village, deep in the jungles of Thailand, a baby elephant is offered a piece of fruit. Born into captivity, she has lived in the village with elephant trainers, called mahouts, since she first came into the world only two years ago. She is trusting of the villagers, the only humans she has ever known.
Delicately, she reaches for the fruit with her tiny, wrinkled, grey trunk. Her large round feet, attached to four stubby baby elephant legs, move gently across the earth. The fruit is held just out of her reach, forcing her to move forward, unaware that each step brings her closer to the ultimate betrayal and seven days of torture that will shake her to her very core.
She is still growing and is not much taller than the villagers who have surreptitiously moved in to surround her. As she steps forward, two men suddenly toss a noose made of thick, heavy rope around her neck. Startled, she attempts to back out of the noose but it is too late, the trap has been sprung and there is no escape.
The villagers scramble to avoid her thrashing trunk and panicked struggles to escape. She screams in fear, but her calls go unanswered, her traumatized mother having been removed from the village in anticipation of this day. She is powerful, but she is no match for the dozens of villagers mightily yanking on the noose that slices ever deeper into the delicate flesh of her neck.
There is an air of celebration in the village as the baby elephant, unable to move in any direction, awaits her fate. Young and old come to watch and participate in the spectacle before them.
wrapping elephants legs One by one, additional ropes and steel cables are wrapped around her belly, legs, and feet—even her tail is bound. She desperately tries to thwart off her tormentors to no avail, using her trunk to push the ropes away and to defend herself from their painful blows. But there is no mercy. Her trunk and the sensitive skin between her toenails are hit with clubs and punctured with nail-studded sticks, and nails are inserted into her ear canals.
Bound and exhausted, she can no longer stand. Her legs give out, forcing her to hang by the ropes choking her neck or wrapped around her belly or to collapse against the sides of the cage. A jab to the ribs sends her momentarily upright again.
A village elder climbs on top of her and straddles her neck. He holds a stick attached to a long, curved, and pointed blade. Speaking in Thai, he delivers a message to the baby elephant, “Remember, if you don’t go against us, we won’t hurt you.” He raises the blade, spits on it, and sinks it into her head, directly between her ears. Each time he drives the blade into her head, he strains to work it back out of her tortured and bloodied flesh. Later, it is discovered that she has lost her ability to hear, most likely the result of this elder’s sadistic lesson.
The elder dismounts and two young men take his place. They casually sit atop her back, one smoking a cigarette. His cigarette break over, the man fervently works the pointed end of a stick into the wound in her head, placed there by the village elder. She roars in inescapable agony, lifting her head in a futile attempt to shake off this instrument of pain.
Dusk has fallen upon the village, and through the smoke of a campfire burning beside her cage, her sorrowful eyes reveal the fear and confusion of a baby elephant whose world has been turned upside down. Her mother is gone and she has been bound, beaten, and abused by those she trusted. However, her ordeal is far from over. For the next several days, she is denied food, water, and sleep. Taking shifts, the villagers beat her day and night, ensuring that her subjugation is absolute and complete.
A week later, witnesses to the beatings discover her tied to a tree outside the village. Her eyes are swollen shut, blood and pus run down her large, torn ears, and her body is covered with raw wounds. Footage of other caged baby elephants with diarrhea coating the backs of their legs is graphic evidence of the pure terror that they endure. Beatings will be used regularly for the rest of their lives to remind them “who’s boss.” Some will eventually snap from the strain of relentless abuse, attacking and killing mahouts and tourists. Click here for a partial list of elephant incidents in Thailand.

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