‘I Was Tricked’ Says Coco Lodge After Trip to Elephant ‘Sanctuary’

‘I Was Tricked’ Says Coco Lodge After Trip to Elephant ‘Sanctuary

Star Speaks Up for Abused Animals in New PETA Campaign

London – Season 8 Love Island star Coco Lodge may have left Casa Amor, but she still has heads turning – this time over a new PETA video campaign that warns fans not to visit misleadingly named “sanctuaries” if they allow visitors to touch or take selfies with elephants.

In the video, Lodge explains how she once posted a photo to social media following a trip to an elephant-bathing facility in Thailand, believing she had visited a bona fide animal sanctuary. Today, these tourist traps give Lodge the ick, since she learned that handlers often chain and beat the elephants with bullhooks – sharp steel-tipped implements that resemble a fireplace poker – and attract unsuspecting visitors by claiming to be involved in animal rescue

“The fact that I had gone to one of these, given them money, taken selfies with the animals, and posted it online made me feel really sad,” she says. “What you don’t see on Instagram is that many elephants used for entertaining tourists were torn away from their mothers as babies. They are often beaten or prodded to make sure they comply.”

True sanctuaries, she points out, do not allow visitors to touch wildlife. The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries requires that member sanctuaries never breed or sell animals and that they allow rescued exotic animals to live out the rest of their lives in peaceful, spacious, natural habitats with members of their own species.

“These wild animals should be left in peace, not touched by strangers day in, day out,” continues Lodge. “No animal should suffer for a selfie.”

Lodge joins a growing list of celebrities – including Gemma Collins, Emily Miller, Rafferty Law, and fellow Love Island star Faye Winter – to promote kindness to animals with PETA.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]