Crushing On Elephants Is Not What You Think

There's a long list of cruelty to elephants in the name of entertainment, trophy hunting and tourism. To that list, 'elephant crushing' is another form of maltreatment that needs to be added to the list. While taking photos seated on the back of elephants seemed like such an adventure when we were kids, today's better judgment is "don't ever ride them."

Life Span of an Elephant

The simplest–though slightly misleading–answer to “how long do elephants live?” is, somewhere between 60 and 70 years. But that's only how long they can live if everything goes well for them. Like people, elephants die at all different ages, and most don't make it to the end of their species' maximum lifespan –particularly if they're been taken captive for crushing.


In 2015, a 43-year-old captive female name Na Lieng perished in Vietnam. Forced to work in the tourist industry providing "holidaymakers" rides on her back, she gave out from apparent exhaustion. According to The Dodo, her death wasn't a stand-alone event.

In the same year, a 40-year-old captive male elephant also died from severe exhaustion and overwork in the tourism industry. A 36-year-old male elephant collapsed in January of that year for the same reason.  He was declared dead with chains still on his front legs. In 2013, two female elephants also died in Vietnam - again, from hunger and being overworked.


Crushing is a practice inflicted on wild elephants to make them carry tourists on their backs. It's objective is to break the spirit of elephants so humans can use them for these pernicious activities. It involves tying them up and literally beating an elephant into submission.

Crush training starts when young elephants are taken away from their mothers. They are then caged, starved and beaten. Crushing also involves making the constricted elephant stay awake for days.

It's cruel and debasing. And the sad part is while capturing wild elephants is supposed to be illegal in many countries, this legislation is often hard to enforce. Plus, once an elephant has been beaten into submission, the laws are lifted - the elephant is seen in the eyes of the government as a captive animal, no longer wild, where protections no longer apply.

How You Can Help?

To learn how you can help Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary for abused elephants in Thailand, click here.

For starters, consider some or all of the following:

1- Visit the park, or tell your family and friends that they are welcome to visit our website and park., or sign up as a volunteer.

2- Follow them on Facebook and tweet and share their activities on our social network community.

3- Donate directly to the Save Elephant Foundation.

4- Serengeti Foundation has helped Elephant Nature Park since our inception. US residents may click to donate here and claim 501(c) tax relief.

5- Let people at home know that there are only 30,000 Asian Elephants left on the planet. (Imagine this in human terms, as under a third of a sports stadium crowd)

6- Do not support elephant poachers by buying ivory or skin products whether allegedly legally obtained or not. Demand causes death to these innocent creatures.

7- Write a story for your local newspapers describing the plight of the elephant and how we can all assist in their survival

8- Order keepsakes from the Save Elephant Foundation online shop – all proceeds help.

9- Sponsor an Animal at the park and beyond.

10- Buy some of our ENP Coffee (USA Direct ordering and subscriptions)

11- Help fulfill the Elephant Nature Park wish list.

Let us know if you have uncovered any additional ways to help support the end to elephant abuse.


Primary Source: The Dodo