A photo and video footage of a thin skeletal elephant has surfaced the internet, which shows the animal doing circus tricks in a zoo in Thailand.
Elephants at the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Thailand were forced to perform tricks in an almost deserted stand with only very few zoo visitors. Two of the five elephants there appeared to be severely underweight and looked weak.
“I’ve been visiting the zoo for a long time because I like to look at the animals. But when I visited last week, I was upset when I saw one of the elephants. The elephant looked so thin and weak. I felt so sorry for him. I think he needs help,” one spectator, who wanted to remain anonymous, told LADbible.
Local authorities from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation inspected the zoo and examined the elephants.
According to a report by The Bangkok Post, investigators found out that most elephants had lost their teeth and could not chew the food that the zoo was giving them, resulting to starvation and malnutrition.
Zoo staff was ordered to let the elephants rest and plan how they could be able to provide softer foods for the majestic beings.
“Thailand, like many other countries in the region, faces numerous challenges in detecting and suppressing the trafficking of its native wildlife,” Nuggehalli Jayasimha, managing director of Humane Society International (HIS) in India, told The Dodo. “Lack of strong animal welfare legislation and lack of regulation of zoos, circus and street performance has resulted in [the] suffering of elephants.”
The zoo, which was built in 1950 as Thailand’s first crocodile farm, apparently had an expired license back in 2016.