Asian elephants are in serious danger of extinction. It is estimated that there is only a population of between 25,000 and 35,000 individuals left in the world: for every 20 African elephants there is barely an Asian one. The tourist industry plays an important role in all this: the elephants are hunted in the wild, "domesticated" through the Pajaan (a technique that means "breaking their souls") and sold to the camps and fake orphanages that offer interactions and shows to tourists in Southeast Asia.
It is estimated that each year, between 50 and 100 elephant calves are captured in Burma to sustain the Thai tourist industry. And, even more worrisome, for each baby captured up to five adult elephants or adolescents of its family have to be killed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Elephants are not "designed" to withstand heavy weights on their backs, in fact any load of more than 150kg puts an immense pressure on their columns. And the chairs used for the rides only can reach 100kg. As a result of these activities and of a life in captivity, the elephants end up suffering debilitating problems with their feet, arthritis, malformations and, of course, psychological problems.
Do not ride elephants!