VICTORY! IBM Pulls Support of King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament After PETA Exposé
In response to nightmarish video footage released by PETA Asia showing handlers repeatedly beating elephants for the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand, event sponsor IBM has informed PETA US that it’ll no longer support the cruel competition, which touts itself as a charity event benefiting elephants. The move comes after more than 193,000 PETA US supporters urged IBM to cut ties with the tournament.
The footage, which was shot from nearby hotel and apartment windows, shows handlers in a holding area next to the polo grounds repeatedly beating and jabbing elephants’ heads with bullhooks – weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end – which they also used to yank the animals by their extremely sensitive ears.
Even after this video was released – and the Minor Hotel Group, which organises the tournament, responded by attempting to write off the incidents as anomalies – PETA US continued to document par-for-the-course cruelty at the event, including more beatings and that an elephant was left chained in floodwater all day.
Elephants used for polo tournaments, rides, or any other type of entertainment endure violent training sessions to force them into submission, during which they’re regularly beaten. Between matches, they’re often shackled so tightly that they can barely take a single step. Because of this abuse, numerous tournaments have been cancelled or lost sponsors – and Guinness World Records has struck all mention of elephant polo records from its pages.
What Can You Do?
Please urge the companies still sponsoring the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament to stop – and then share this alert with everyone you know.