Stop Forcing Elephants to Swim Underwater for Tourists

Target: Attaporn Srihayrun, Director of Khao Kheow Open Zoo

Goal: Stop forcing elephants to swim fully submerged underwater as part of a tourist attraction.

A recently added attraction at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand is raising concerns among animal lovers for the cruel treatment of its resident elephants, who are regularly forced to swim underwater in an aquarium-style tank. The attraction is one of only a handful of pools worldwide that allow tourists to view elephants swimming underwater, but the way in which the animals are made to perform is both shocking and unnatural.

In one video clip taken by an eyewitness, elephant trainers known as mahouts appear to pull on the elephants’ ears as they ride on their backs, forcing them to dive under the water. The massive animals continue to be prodded until they reach the bottom of the deep tank five or six times, allowing them to become fully submerged. This is all done while hordes of children and other onlookers beat on the glass to get the elephants’ attention, further causing them distress.

While elephants in the wild are known to enter natural pools and rivers frequently to cool off, this type of performance is unnatural, and puts the elephants’ lives at risk when their trunks are unable to reach the surface for air. Sign this petition to demand that this zoo stop forcing these animals to perform this dangerous and inhumane stunt.


Dear Director Srihayrun,

Although your recently added swimming elephants attraction has become a popular attraction among tourists, it is clear that it is cruel and unnecessarily puts the lives of these massive creatures at risk. We demand that you stop exploiting these elephants by making them dive fully underwater during the swimming shows that are held twice daily at your facility.

While elephants are known to enter the water, and even swim, when given the chance, they are careful to keep their trunks above the surface to ensure that they can breathe. By forcing these creatures to dive deep down underwater, so that even their trunks are submerged, you are subjecting them to psychological distress and increasing their chances of drowning. It is time you stop forcing these intelligent creatures to perform these unnatural, life-threatening stunts and allow them to live peacefully without fear or harassment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eric Kilby

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  1. Stupid human tricks! Leave the elephants alone and do your own tricks! Just horrible abuse!

  2. Susan Durnford Susan Durnford says:

    I don’t know how it should be one but more people/tourists should be made aware of the cruelty that is involved behind the scenes of the elephant shows.

  3. Has more and more people learn about the animal suffering that happens behind the scenes, the less people want to participate in them. They should do the right thing. End this.

  4. What is wrong with this world? It is all about money and greed. I hate people who abuse animals.

  5. Signed @704 This is no good for the animals and the man, women, girls and boys.

  6. lynn woods says:

    leave it to the asians to think up another cruelty to animals they thrive on anything they do to torture kill and eat animals I wish someone would drop a bomb on all asian countries between they’re torturing killing and eating dogs cat horse donkeys torturing bears elephants and eating anything that breaths to bad they wouldn’t eat themselves where’s the h bomb when we need it and get rid of all of them

  7. Brenda Dumont says:

    Greed is a terrible thing!! People who do this just for a buck needs to be arrested and jail time with no animals of any kind ever!!! We live in the twilight zone with all the stuff that morons and creeps who are just looking at these wonderful elephants as a money maker!!! Just sad

  8. This is so cruel to force any animal to do stupid things of any kind. They belong in the wild not zoos or places that are for human entertainment. Leave them alone. They are NOT for human entertainment.


  10. Penny Shinn says:

    I know Elephants love water but only to drink and cool them selves. They are not Hippos. What a cruel way to make money.

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