A photo of a skinny elephant on its knees forced to perform for the crowd in a Thai zoo was recently leaked. As a result, a massive public uproar aided in making a little impact for the confined animals there.
Two of the five elephants found at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo, aged 18 and 32, seemed to be severely underweight and were nevertheless forced to perform tricks for tourists. The zoo’s personnel maintained that the animals were in perfect health.
People’s reactions on the internet led the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation to investigate the zoo and assess the elephants.
They noticed that the animals were thin because they had lost many teeth and were unable to adequately chew the food provided by the zoo. According to the Bangkok Post, this harmed their capacity to absorb nutrition. This was progressively starving the poor creatures.
The researchers told the zoo personnel that the elephants needed to relax and that they needed to find a way to gain weight by feeding them softer meals.
However, the event only highlights one example, and it’s difficult not to wonder how many more incidents go unnoticed at institutions like these owing to a lack of oversight.
The zoo’s license had also expired in 2016, it was subsequently revealed.
Humane Society International (HSI) in India’s Managing Director, Nuggehalli Jayasimha, told The Dodo:
“Thailand, like many other nations in the area, confronts significant obstacles in identifying and combating wildlife trafficking. The elephants’ suffering is due to a lack of robust animal welfare regulations, as well as a lack of oversight of zoos, circuses, and street performances.’
There are indicators that things are getting better.
Nuggehalli went on to say:
“Thailand reported a 10% rise in the number of elephants within protected areas in March of last year. Strong animal protection law that serves as a deterrent to animal abusers will have a beneficial influence.