By Dian Hasan | October 10, 2009
Tourists to Bangkok may find themselves facing an unusual sight, elephants on the streets of modern Bangkok. Mostly baby elephants walking with their mahouts (elephant keeper & rider) entertaining tourists for a few dimes to let them feed peanuts. It may seem cute and harmless, but it poses a serious problem for the mistreatment of elephants that the Thai officials are trying to stop. And PETA Asia Pacific chapter has rolled out a campaign to raise awareness about the plight of Thai elephants.
While the elephant is a symbol of Thailand, it is a fairly common site to see the unemployed and homeless animals roaming the city streets begging for food.
The tame elephants dodge the traffic as their mahouts sell sugar cane by the bag to tourists who then feed them. Thai officials frown upon the practice and have passed laws banning elephants from roadways but the mahouts still come risking fines in order to survive.
Elephants have been big business for the country for centuries but now they are reduced to a major tourist attraction. Elephants are trained to paint, play musical instruments, and even kick soccer balls. Until Thailand banned logging in 1989, many Asian elephants were laborers working in the jungles.
Source: One Inch Punch