AtWildlife Safari, a zoo in Oregon, you can have a unique experience. An elephant will wash your car with his trunk for $25. This is the type of trick that tourists love, but animal lovers have been exposing the sad reality behind the cute treat, reports The Dodo.
Toni Frohoff, an elephant and cetacean scientist with IDA, spoke to The Dodo about why tourists should not pay for tricks like this at zoos:
It's particularly hard to see these magnificent wild animals exploited to perform such demeaning circus tricks. These captive individuals are not being allowed to live the life they were born for. Nature did not intend for [their trunks] to used as hoses for cleaning cars in living 'car washes.
The elephants are forced to dip their trunks into buckets, suck out the water, spray it onto the car and then to scrub windows with a sponge. Wildlife Safari also makes the animals "dance" and visitors are allowed to pet and take selfies with them.
Just a girl and her hula hoop! Sometimes it's the simple things that are the best ?Happy Holidays from our wild family to yours!Find out how you can help Tava and the other elephants get more room to roam here:www.wildlifesafari.net/tembo-darasaniPosted by Wildlife Safari on Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Last Christmas, the elephants were also forced to paint wooden ornaments holding the paintbrush with their trunks as gifts for visitors.However, Frohoff is one of many animal activists who is sure that the elephants are threatened and trained with bullhooks - sticks with sharp, curved points. Zoos claim that these sticks are used to "train" elephants, but their methods can often involve beating and breaking the skin with the sharp edge.
All 5 of our elephants have different skills and talents. We like to keep expanding their individual skill-sets and teach them new things. Sometimes, it might take a little bit longer depending on the skill and the elephant, but in the end, it's all about what's best for the elephants and keeping them healthy and happy :-)Don't forget to check out our Etsy and Go Fund Me pages if you're interested in helping expand the elephant habitat!https://www.etsy.com/shop/WildlifeSafari?ref=pr_shop_morehttps://www.gofundme.com/tembodarasaniPosted by Wildlife Safari on Tuesday, October 18, 2016
In several photos and videos taken at Wildlife Safari, trainers can be seen holding bullhooks whilst standing next to the animals. Frohoff said the method was "barbaric":
The elephants […] are under the constant threat of the cruel bullhooks. Who would be happy in these conditions?
OnWildlife Safari's website, they state thattheir mission is to encourage the"conservation, education and research of native and exotic wildlife", but forcing an animal to behave unnaturally under the threat of punishment by washing cars for visitors' pleasure has nothing to with their mission statement.
Besides the cruel activities, there are also five African elephants being kept together with an Asian elephant. Frohoff continues:
[This reveals] disrespect and a lack of understanding for basic elephant social needs and the differences between elephant species. It is unnatural for them to be living with unrelated individuals, let alone in unnaturally confining conditions, particularly with members of other species.