|Photo by Melissa Wellham @melissawellham|
This piece was originally published on Mamamia.com.au. Read the full article here.
If you knew that your holiday was contributing to animal cruelty, would you still choose to do the same activities?
The woman featured in this photo is Lek Chailert, the founder of the Save the Elephants foundation and the Elephant Nature Park. The elephants photographed with her are Jokia and Mae Perm.
Mae Perm was the first elephant that Lek rescued from the logging industry – where she was required to drag heavy loads every day, despite her increasing age – and brought to the park. Jokia was rescued many years later, blind in both eyes after being abused by humans. The two elephants bonded, and because Jokia cannot see she relies upon Mae Perm to be her guide and help.
This anecdote alone should give some indication of the intelligence and emotion these gentle giants are capable of.
But just as elephants can show compassion and love, they can also feel deep suffering. Distress when separated from other members of their herd. Psychological problems when confined in unnatural habitats. Post-traumatic stress disorder when abused or hurt.
Sadly, the suffering of elephants is not uncommon. At least, it is not uncommon for these wild animals kept in captivity.
Read more at Mamamia.com.au.