19 thoughts on “Piggyback Ride! Piggyback Ride!

  1. Violet's Mum April 5, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Sorry, this is neither cute, nor funny. If you click on the link, you will clearly see that the elephants are chained, and are being ridden by tourists. Please Mike, do not encourage elephant tourism in any way, as these creatures are being torn from their families and forced to work to entertain tourists. Elephants in this situation are little more than slaves, and unsuspecting people need to be made aware of the abuse these elephants endure in order for people to have the opportunity to ride or play with them. Sorry to be such a party pooper.

    • Murray April 5, 2016 / 3:51 pm

      Good call, V’s Mum – I wasn’t so observant, tho’ I should’ve been since I’ve signed lots of petitions about this sort of exploitation.

    • Gigi_the cat lady April 5, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      I don’t know, maybe I’m blind but I clicked on the linked and looked at the photos and did not see any chained elephant.

      • Julie April 5, 2016 / 6:25 pm

        2nd photo – blonde woman – shows an elephant leg chained to something.

      • 6rabbits April 6, 2016 / 3:35 am

        I scrolled thru maaany photos at the link and no chains. If you click on the photo it will play, but you also see the comments on the right. Someone questioned the chained leg and this was her response:
        “paigespice@4aneil hey guy. Before u get all crazy it’s because the baby was so small they had to do that so he wouldn’t die. He boosters himself up to drink her milk. So yeah..it is classy”

        • General April 6, 2016 / 1:20 pm

          Chains are not used for “bolstering up.” There is no need for chains at an ethical elephant park if proper care is being given to the elephants. If you google the park, you’ll see that many people have had disturbing experiences there. Mike should research before he posts anything pertaining to elephant parks. This is awful.

    • Brouhaha April 5, 2016 / 5:31 pm

      I didn’t see any chains either – I did see rope wrapped around them so the people can hold on? And lots of baby elephants laying on top of people. I do wonder what has to happen to get the elephants “trained” to this point, but none of the photos shows any cruelty, which only means they were smart enough not to post those.

      • Gigi_the cat lady April 5, 2016 / 5:48 pm

        According to Wikipedia “Patara Elephant Farm is a health-recovery and reproduction-management farm for elephants. Its focus is on educating the public on elephants and the threats they face. To do this, the farm pairs visitors up with an elephant for a day and assigns them the task of caring for that elephant.[3]”

        “This program is called โ€œElephant Owner for a Day,โ€ and its goal is for visitors to better understand elephant health and behavior by caring for an elephant. These activities include feeding the elephant, checking its health, bathing it, learning how to communicate with it”

        “The program costs around $200 per person, and the groups are small, with a maximum of twelve visitors per day[3] The program cost is needed since Patara does not receive any of its funding from the Thai government.[1]”

        • debg April 5, 2016 / 5:52 pm

          Thanks for looking it up, Gigi. Now I can dream about going there without feeling guilty.

          I would *so* give a lollyphant a ride if I could.

        • Murray April 5, 2016 / 6:49 pm

          ๐Ÿ˜˜ my thanks, too.

          • Haha April 5, 2016 / 10:01 pm

            Thank you for sharing Gigi. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • General April 6, 2016 / 1:22 pm

          Gigi – I’ve heard very bad things about Patara Elephant Park. So have the people on Trip Advisor and other travel forums/blogs interested in visiting truly ethical elephant parks. They use hooks and chains at Patara – and one visitor reports seeing traumatized chained baby elephants. And the mahouts that train the elephants are notoriously heavyhanded and cruel.

  2. Flowerfanatic April 5, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    Elephant rescue and rehabilitation center. This is Lek Chailert owner/founder.

    This is the link for a fabulous elephant rescue group in Chiang Mai, Thailand that is run by Lek Chailert (founder/owner). She and many volunteers rescue elephants who have had to ‘work’ hauling people around on their backs or worked in the logging industry. No more chains or bull hooks!! Once at the Elephant Nature Park, they are treated like royalty and will never have to work another day in their lives but enjoy freedom to roam as they wish and be fed nutritious foods. They will also have any health issues/injuries dealt with. You can subscribe to get updates and cute videos especially of the babies playing in the water or with tires (Yes, they LOVE tires which I didn’t know about until I started getting their videos). You can subscribe and get cute video updates to keep up with what’s going on there.

  3. Mariana Paes April 5, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    Ok, so now that that’s cleared we can all resume the appreciation of the cute and of NTMTOM’s amazing humour and view of the world.
    Such a cute bebeh elephant!!

  4. Julie April 5, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    This post has a lot of down votes!

    Will it be in the Hall of Fame (Top Down Votes)? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 6rabbits April 6, 2016 / 3:17 am

    I think it’s wise to be skeptical, but then do research. Since I couln’t get the article to load, I appreciate everyone sharing their findings! Relieved to know the truth.

  6. Smartypants April 6, 2016 / 7:26 am

    Thank you so much, guys, for doing the homework. Yay for cute bebeh elephants!

  7. General April 6, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    I’ve looked up Patara Elephant Park before. Visitors on various travel forums and blogs report seeing chained elephants, baby elephants that are clearly traumatized and chained to the ground, and heavy handed handlers.

    Mike, please don’t post links to unethical animal venues. There is rampant abuse of elephants in Thailand for monetary gain. Most that advertise as “elephant parks” mask themselves as ethical but are in fact solely profit-driven rather than based in conservation and care.

    There is clearly a chained elephant in the second photo on the Mashable article. This is horrifying. Please take this post down.

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