Botswana bans elephant-back rides

Botswana bans elephant-back rides
Published: 14 December 2016 (3071 Views)
From the end of this month, no elephants will be permitted to be ridden in Botswana. Abu Camp, the only facility that allowed elephant back riding in the country, has been directed to terminate its elephant back safaris.

Botswana is seen as the international custodian of the African elephant and has the world’s greatest herds. At the CITES convention earlier this year, it voluntarily relinquished its Appendix Two listing of elephants, giving them maximum Appendix One status, seeking their further protection. It has also refused to sell it stockpiled ivory and has disallowed all hunting on state land.

The ban on the riding of elephants is an extension of these moves linked to a new government policy, guided by Minister of Environment TK Khama, to improve the welfare of elephants in captivity. His department studied their subjugation in being forced to carry tourists and found it unacceptable.

For centuries, Asian elephants were trained to be ridden as working animals, but recently conservation organisations have highlighted the cruelty involved. Elephants are a lot like humans. They socialize, have families and friends, feel pain, sorrow, happiness and more. In many tourist outfits, they are isolated from other elephants and live in virtual solitary confinement.

The first commercial elephant rides in Africa began in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s and soon spread throughout Southern Africa. In the region there are now 39 commercial elephant venues, holding around 215 captive elephants. At least 25 of these offer elephant rides. Seven of them force elephants to do tricks for tourists.

According to the NGO World Animal Protection, most tourists go on elephant rides because they love elephants. They don’t know about the intense physical and psychological pain involved. ‘They will not be told that baby elephants are cruelly taken from their mothers, and their spirits harshly broken for training to give rides and perform tricks for tourists.

‘This includes chaining and close confinement, loneliness, tight restraint with ropes or chains and isolation from other elephants and deprivation of food and water. Severe pain is often inflicted with pointed metal bullhooks, wooden battens, and whips.’

‘The cruelty elephants endure during breaking stays with them throughout their lives and can leave them suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. And after breaking there is no end to their suffering.’

Abu Camp supported the Botswana ban. ‘Following an extensive review of its programme and in compliance with recent government directives’ it said in a press release, ‘as of 31 December 2016, Abu Camp will no longer allow guests to ride elephants.

‘The Camp will continue to focus its programme on respectful, less intrusive forms of elephant interaction and education … including its immersive walking-based experience.’

Among the 39 facilities in Southern Africa that offer elephant experiences, 15 of them in South Africa offer rides, seven in Zimbabwe and two in Zambia. In 2014 photographs and graphic video footage showing baby elephants being abused at Knysna Elephant Park and its subsidiary, Elephants of Eden, sparked a global outcry. The NSPCA laid criminal charges against their directors and management.

Existing South African Elephant Norms and Standards(ENS) prohibit the capture of wild elephants for permanent captivity as well the import or export of elephants, a move which effectively capped the booming elephant-back safari industry.



- Don Pinnock

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Tesla pfee in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 133 Views

Zimbabwean student use the old trick to get asylum in Ireland

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 152 Views

Joram Gumbo must leave office and face justice

by MDC Communications | 20 October 2018 | 131 Views

Zimbabwe teachers demand salaries in US$

by newzimbabwe | 20 October 2018 | 202 Views

'Chamisa's Alliance plotted a coup against Mnangagwa'

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 242 Views

Demand for Indian sex sweets rises

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 234 Views

'Chamisa won't be contested at congress' - no vacancy in MDC presidium

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 188 Views

Mthuli Ncube calls for political reforms

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 196 Views

Mnangagwa's minister exposed charging in USD refuses Bond notes

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 162 Views

Zimsec engages Deloitte And Touch over exam leaks

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 135 Views

The White Man who sent fear down Mugabe's spine

by Globe and Mail | 20 October 2018 | 127 Views

Human rights violations down in Zimbabwe

by Stephen Jakes | 20 October 2018 | 104 Views

Mliswa pleads with Finance minister to see importance of MPs vehicles

by Stephen Jakes | 20 October 2018 | 107 Views

Zimbabwe business are mercenaries out to loot the poor: MDC legislator

by Stephen Jakes | 20 October 2018 | 118 Views

Electric Tesla car causes stir on Zimbabwe social media

by Staff Reporter | 20 October 2018 | 120 Views

Zimbabwe army officers warned

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 143 Views

Biti savages Mthuli Ncube

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 112 Views

Zanu-PF backers justify army use of deadly force

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 119 Views

Zimbabwe tax system hit by low compliance levels

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 74 Views

Price controls, tinkering with the deck while the titanic is sinking

by Jacob Mafume, MDC National Spokesperson | 19 October 2018 | 233 Views

Man nearly killed over cooking oil

by Simbarashe Sithole | 19 October 2018 | 211 Views

Mnangagwa closing in on unscrupulous businesspeople

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 227 Views

Prophet sells congregant's vehicle

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 195 Views

Zanu-PF's Dexter Nduna confirmed Chegutu West MP

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 140 Views

Mnangagwa caps 1719 graduands

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 118 Views

ZCTU calls for resignation of Minister Gumbo

by Stephen Jakes | 19 October 2018 | 282 Views

Mnangagwa has to deliver and, urgently too

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 313 Views

Zanu-PF dictatorship, ideological dominance

by Vivid Gwede | 19 October 2018 | 235 Views

ZCTU, why spare Bulawayo council over rates hike

by Conway Tutani | 19 October 2018 | 216 Views

Motlanthe Commission risks playing into Zanu-PF agenda

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 229 Views

Councils challenged to generate own income

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 159 Views

Zimbabwe gender parity misses 50% mark, says Mohadi

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 119 Views

Zanu-PF official, sangoma jailed over pangolin scales

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 185 Views

Mliswa mocks Gender Commission

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 170 Views

Police harass senior Masvingo journalist

by Stephen Jakes | 19 October 2018 | 153 Views

Zimbabwe gold exports decline by 21%

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 176 Views