Elephants are one of my favourite animals on earth. I love elephants a lot. I see them most of the days since I work as a game ranger in Yala National Park. If you love elephants, will you ride elephants in Sri Lanka?
In Sri Lanka, we have a subspecies of Asian Elephants. If you visit a national park like Kaudulla, Minneriya, Udawalawe, Lunugamwehera or Yala Block 1 you have a chance of seeing them in the wild!
And sometimes you may see them outside the national parks. In the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Udawalawe transit home or in temples and hotels. During the recent past, Elephant safaris have become much popular among the tourists in Sri Lanka.
I know it can be a very special holiday for you to have a ride on the back of these massive creatures. But, have you ever noticed that is their everyday routine? If you are a responsible tourist, you have to respect these animals. I have seen many tourists riding these giants in Habarana and Pinnawala. So thought of writing this post why you shouldn’t ride elephants in Sri Lanka.
Why you shouldn’t Ride Elephants In Sri Lanka?
Elephants can’t bare your weight! Their spine is not designed to carry weights on their back. Having tourists on their back every day can be the beginning of a serious spinal problem. And the chairs or the howdah you sit on the elephants can cause wounds on the back when it rubs against the skin. And the weight they carry on back can make their legs weak.
They are not domestic animals. Just because they are in captivity, it doesn’t make any sense of being a domestic pet. They can be wild at any time, so when they get tamed to carry you on the back they get beat every day. If you want to tame a wild elephant, the only way of doing that is breaking their spirit. So the mahouts beat them with bullhooks every day until they become tamed to ride on the back. Most of the elephants had gone through a terrible period of their life to give you this joyful ride.
If you visit Sri Lanka, before riding elephants, think a thousand times before doing that.
For me, it’s not on my bucket list!