Watch: Documentary Uncovers Shocking Secrets of Thailand’s Elephant Tourism

Posted by 2 years ago | Permalink | Comments (41)

The feature documentary An Elephant Never Forgets follows the same path that thousands of British tourists take every year as they visit elephant attractions in Thailand. Joe Keogh, a comedian from Manchester, offers a great deal of insight into the living and working conditions of the many elephants used and abused in the tourism industry.


Joe uncovers the uncomfortable truth behind the elephants’ obedience and takes viewers around some of the local camps and zoos to convey a sense of what these magnificent animals are subjected to on a daily basis. The reality is very bleak, with numerous elephants swaying from side to side – an indicator of stress and ill health – and chained up with barely any room for movement.

The uncomfortable truth behind the elephants attractions Documentary Uncovers Shocking Secrets of Thailand's Elephant Tourism An Elephant Never Forgets - Thai Elephant Tourism Phajaan

You can help! The days of these cruel attractions may soon be numbered as companies stop promoting them. Travel agency Responsible Travel no longer promotes trips that include elephant treks or elephant performances, and STA Travel, the world’s largest student travel company, has pulled promotions for elephant rides as well as Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple and SeaWorld.

Tourists today have so many fantastic opportunities available to them that it’s easy to have a vacation filled with cruelty-free memories. If you encounter any attraction that includes captive animals, walk the other way. Around 800,000 Britons visit Thailand each year.

Please help raise awareness of the cruelty of exploitative elephant attractions by sharing An Elephant Never Forgets with your family and friends.

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  • al jackson commented on August 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Please boycott tourism to Thailand, and if you DO visit there, for God’s sake, don’t ride the elephants. Every country is doing something sick and disgusting to those with no power to protect themselves, wether it’s elephants in Thailand or Dolphins in Japan or bulls in Spain or children in the worldwide sex slave trade. The oppressors are all the same. No conscience. Let the good people of this world make a bigger effort to do whatever we can to stop those without conscience and morals in our society! Or we are no different than them.

    • Elizabteh Benkovich commented on August 24, 2014 at 1:25 am

      I so agree with you. The abusers are all the same. It is all so heartbreaking and infuriating. I wish we had more information on the children because I get alerts all the time about the poor animals and always respond. I wish I got as many reports and exposes and calls for letters for bills about the sex trade. Do you know of anyone doing this? These victims need our help!

    • Renee Boteilho commented on September 3, 2014 at 4:40 am

      I agree with you Al 100 percent!!! Let us continue to grow in numbers to be the voice for animals around the world!!!

  • HEFFINGER-HERNANDEZ commented on August 22, 2014 at 11:40 pm


  • suzanne commented on August 23, 2014 at 12:27 am


  • Anders Richardsson commented on August 23, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Abusing any animal is an insult to humanity. Do the right thing andSTOP this trade with living creatures right away

    • Eva commented on August 24, 2014 at 11:46 am

      I agree. Since when did ANIMAL cruelty start?! GOD isn’t even working his miracles! >:(

  • Anne Johnsson commented on August 23, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Shock in cruelty…..please don’t support this when you go toThailand.

  • Susan Gibbins commented on August 23, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Please stop hurting these beautiful animals !!! Set them free !!!

  • Wendy Ward commented on August 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Been to Thailand, didn’t enjoy it! Too much animal abuse. Culture needs a clean up!

  • Kevin Lawlor commented on August 23, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Please stop cruelty to elephants. Show compassion to all things living. It’s wrong to abuse these creatures for monetary gain.

  • Margaret Kramer commented on August 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm


  • Joan lawler commented on August 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Please stop this cruelty to a elephants and boycott tourism to Thailand until it stops

  • jannine commented on August 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Stop abuse to both animals and children

  • jannine commented on August 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Stop all forms of abuse

  • Lisbeth Kelada commented on August 23, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    STOP THIS NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tina fieldhouse commented on August 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    please stop cruelty to this elephants .their lovely animals ,why are people so cruel to them is so un fair on them .please help them

  • Eileen Wild commented on August 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    In the name of decency leave these baby elephants alone, I would rather see them in their natural habitat with their relatives, there is absolutely no need for this stupidity anylonger.

  • Maggie Cranfield commented on August 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Disgusting and so upsetting, stop!!

  • Elaine cairney commented on August 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Why is it necessary to inflict such suffering to the elephants!! These people doing this should be beaten like they do to the animals cruel and disgusting STOP THIS CRUELTY

  • Ann Crossan commented on August 23, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    All my contacts, family, friends will boycott Thailand until the cruelty to elephants and any other animals is STOPPED. This has no place in a civilised society.

  • sonja commented on August 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm


  • carol gardener commented on August 23, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Stop this awful disrespect and cruelty to baby elephants and their families.

  • Yolanda Marsh commented on August 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Please leave the elephants alone they feel pain just as we humans do, you can’t be human to inflict so much pain and terror you are monsters !

  • Tulin Attila commented on August 24, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Plz stop this horrible cruelty on these intelligent loving animals.whyhurt them.they are in need of love n should happen too them that do this.why hasn’t it been stopped!!!why hasn’t the government done anything.!! Why allowed this in first place.plz god someone help these helpless animals. STOP CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

  • Eva commented on August 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Well? Where the hell is the care for these animals? Yeaaah sure I’m just a kid, but I care too. Why is it that only certain animals, like cats and dogs, are taken care of? I would shoot myself if it meant freedom for animals! I mean, how would it feel if this happened to people? I’m disappointed in you, circus(es.)

  • Kim Fenton commented on August 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Knew there was abuse to elephants in Thailand yet to find out how much and how is done has totally put me off from going there regardless of other things to do, have shared this and hope others realise how disgusting and wrong this is and don’t get tempted to see them doing stupid human things like painting ?..or ride these beautiful creatures knowing the horrific abuse to get this to happen, the money made is little and many are drug addicted teenagers not trained in how to treat the elephants, seen as a low form of employment, doesn’t have the respect it use to, elephants used to be a national symbol and its seems many don’t care how they are treated, will you ???

  • Marianne de Zwart commented on August 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Edwin Wiek, a Dutch animal resuerhailand, was punished because he had rare animals kept in his camp. They took a lot of his precious rescued animals from him. Where did these animals go? That is not known. They didn’t like his critical opinion about the management of wild animals by the governement.
    The government has to make laws to protect animals and have to see these malouts get education to find work, so they don’t need elephants anymore to get money.
    Taking young elephants away from the mother as a baby is taking away of the young elephant to be an elephant. It is wounding the soul of the baby elephant. One cannot hurt a living creature more then that.

  • Carole Fraser commented on August 25, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Shocking cruel evil bastards Corrupt country poor animals I hope Karma Bits them back with full force and they get their comeuppance they deserve to rot in hell for ever .

  • NERON DALI BIJOU commented on September 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm


  • Tulin Attila commented on September 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    This is very cruel and evil.these elephants shouldn’t endure such cruelty.plz put a stop to intelligent animals like elephants.plz stop this it’s not right.

  • Stella Osborne commented on September 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    This saddens and upsets me. I do not understand how people can have such little disregard for animals.

  • Barbara Bryant commented on September 6, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Stop the abuse and extreme cruelty to these big, beautiful, intelligent and sensitive creatures. Like us , they are God’s creations. Imagine the pain theyare suffering! (mental and physical)

  • riot commented on September 6, 2014 at 5:56 pm


  • Jo Loveland commented on September 30, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Please don’t stop visiting Thailand altogether or good places like Lek’s sanctuary will be hard pressed to keep going – rather channel your money and energy into genuine animal rehab facilities and sanctuaries. And don’t forget that a big part of ending animal suffering – of all animals, not just these poor elephants – is finding alternate employment for the mahouts. It’s been done with bears rescued from bear baiting in places like Pakistan – it needs forethought and a bit of a plan but it can and should be done. Above all it seems we need to teach compassion for all living things to an awful lot of people around the planet. Now that you know about it, speak out. Even one action can have a huge ripple effect.

  • Val commented on October 23, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Stop It Now. Extreme cruelty is Wrong.

  • Annice Davis commented on February 19, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    This needs to be stopped.

  • Corrine Schillinger commented on August 2, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Hi, I was gonna goIng to go the Golden Triangle in Thailand. I was told and I researched that it was one of the only places where they are doing “good” for the elephants. But I am still very disturbed by the whole process. Do you know anything about the Golden Triangle? They say they are saving the elephants because there is not enough food for them to live? It just doesn’t make any sense. They say someone else will hunt them and treat them horribly which makes sense but I still have a problem keeping them in captivity.

    • Ruby commented on August 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Corrine. Any tourist attraction that makes elephants give rides or in any way perform unnatural behaviours are likely to have “trained” the animals in cruel ways. The best way to stop elephants being abused in captivity is to never visit or give your money to these kind of attractions.

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