Save Baby Elephants from Cruel Training Methods

baby elephant

Target: Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra

Goal: Ban cruel elephant training methods that involve tying up calves and mercilessly beating them with sharp instruments to make them submissive to humans

Despite being a significant part of local culture as well as a popular tourist attraction, elephants throughout Thailand are brutally abused and tormented from a young age. Calves as young as four years old are separated from their mothers, tied up in a small pen and beaten mercilessly with sharp instruments. This brutal practice is known as “Phajaan” and locals believe that this horrific abuse will break the young elephants’ spirits and therefore make them submissive to their human captors for the remainder of their lives. These intelligent, magnificent creatures deserve to be treated with compassion and respect, not to be severely abused for the enjoyment and convenience of heartless individuals.

Nearly all of the Thailand’s captive elephants have been subjected to these barbaric training methods. Once they have been “broken”, the elephants are forced to give rides and perform for tourists. Travelers to Thailand are contributing to an incredibly corrupt industry simply by feeding or riding elephants, blissfully unaware of what horrific abuse these amazing animals have endured as calves and ignoring their enslavement as adults.

By signing this petition, you will be urging the Prime Minister of Thailand to implement laws that would permanently ban Phajaan and other cruel animal training methods. You will also be encouraging the Prime Minister to demand the release of all captive elephants to a sanctuary where they can live out their remaining years without fear of abuse. These gentle and intelligent animals deserve a life of happiness and peace, not one of torture and servitude.


Dear Prime Minister Shinawatra,

I was incredibly disappointed to learn that Thailand still has not banned the practice of “Phajaan” or the “breaking of the spirit.” This barbaric treatment of a creature as intelligent and majestic as an elephant is a tragic example of how little Thailand’s symbol of strength is actually revered by the country’s citizens.

As you know, Phajaan involves separating young elephants from their mothers, tying the calves up in cramped pens and then mercilessly beating them with sharp objects until they are “broken.” Once this brutal torture has been completed, the human captors believe that the elephant will be submissive to them for the rest of their life. These gentle, intelligent animals are then forced to give rides and perform for tourists.

I urge you to do everything in your power to ban the Phajaan training method and implement strict penalties against those who mistreat elephants. Humane elephant training methods are much more effective and should be the only legal way of training them. I also suggest that all captive elephants be released to sanctuaries where they will be free to enjoy their remaining years without fear of abuse. These majestic creatures do not deserve to be tortured and enslaved for the financial gain of their human captors.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr

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  1. Julia Wells says:

    They suffer and feel pain as humans do. Please stop the cruelty.

  2. In a way, it is already banned as capturing wild elephants is illegal.

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