Across the world, elephants are being taken from the wild and bred in captivity to be used in the tourist entertainment industry. They will suffer at every stage of this inherently cruel business and endure lifelong misery in barren, captive conditions that cannot meet their needs. Protect elephants by taking action against how they're treated! Elephants are wildlife — not entertainers. Keep them in the wild where they belong!
1. Be a part of a natural herd.
2. Greet each other.
Elephants are extremely social and it's customary that they greet each other by intertwining their trunks!
3. Cool themselves off.
4. Eat enough fresh vegetation.
Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating, digesting only 40% of what they consume, making it very important that they have access to fresh and diversified vegetation, which cannot be fully replicated in show and ride operations.
5. Choosing their own mate.
6. Care for their babies
Baby elephants and their mothers are incredibly close; female babies will even stay with their mother until adulthood. This bond is immensely tight, and it causes a mother elephant extreme distress to be separated from her offspring. They are also incredibly cute.
7. Communicate with one another.
8. Play together.
Elephants are extremely smart and affectionate creatures. Playing together is critical to their happiness and development. Without it they become under-stimulated and highly stressed. They also become friends for life!
10. Mourn their deceased loved ones.
Considering an elephant's capacity for love and attachment, it comes as no surprise that elephants go through long periods of mourning and grief after a member of their herd dies. Female elephants will cover the deceased with sticks and leaves, and mothers and aunts will grieve a stillborn baby. Elephants will also pay respects to an elephant skeleton they may come across by gently touching it with their trunks and feet.
Elephants are wildlife – not entertainers. Find out how you can help protect elephants and other wild animals through World Animal Protection.
All images via Thinkstock.