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Ethics of animal petting?

Helsinki, Finland
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Ethics of animal petting?

I read some of the threads that discussed about cub petting and otherwise domesticating animals.

For example, I spotted a place in Hazyview, Elephant Sanctuary that offers interaction with elephants. I understand that sometimes it is conservation that is financed by fees and sometimes pure exploitation.

How do I know which is which and choose right places for us to visit?

Port Elizabeth
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1. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Before you pet anything, please, please, please go on a proper safari. Watch animals in the wild. It is an amazing experience. I am sure you won't want to interact with 'wild' animals after that.

Edited: 06 March 2014, 12:52
South Africa
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2. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Well the elepannt santuary is not about " petting". But about teaching about the African elephant. Very interesting!

Edited: 06 March 2014, 14:35
Helsinki, Finland
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3. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

So visiting (and paying) them would be ethical?

We are going to Kruger as well but for some reason the elephants, their intelligence and habits..it would be interesting to see them closer.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

MM77, first I think it's commendable you're going to lengths to understand the ethics of sanctuaries. Many who choose to walk with cats or ride elephants have that as a real goal and are ignorant of the possible exploitation and ultimate lot of the animals, don't care, or honestly see no harm in it. No one here can legislate what you should do. I'm sure you've seen from the threads here, however, that many are very passionate in their opinions that many of those places are best avoided.

Perhaps in deciding what to do consider this: I believe a true sanctuary is a facility that rescues and provides shelter and care for animals that have been abused, injured, abandoned or are otherwise in need. There can be

-no commercial trade

-no invasive or intrusive research

-no unescorted public visitation or contact in wild animal sanctuaries

-no removal of wild animals for exhibition, education, or research

You can assess whether the facility you mentioned is consistent with those ends.

But I am 100% in agreement with #1. Perhaps wait until after you've visited Kruger or one of the reserves and had a chance to view elephants in their natural habitats before deciding to go to a sanctuary. Elephants are an incredible species, smart, beautiful and social, a true wonder really. After having done that you may well not feel the need to visit a sanctuary.

Avila Beach...
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5. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

I have to agree with the above. After many opportunities and the privilege to see elephants in their natural habitat, I was taken to Knysna Elephant Park as part of a tour. While I didn't see any direct abuse of elephants or reason to believe they weren't being cared for, it broke my heart to see these beautiful and proud animals being controlled so humans could pet them and brought in to huge cages for sleep at night. There was a film crew for a television documentary there - they asked me to speak about my wonderful experience and I refused. I don't think they wanted to hear about my wonderful experience....

South Africa
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6. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Indeed Steve from Maryland, that is the elephant sanctuary.they rescue Ellie's. And you cannot just walk around there Go and look for your self.

Also the National parks Ellie's to other parks, so it is commercial. because there are to much overthere.

Edited: 07 March 2014, 06:40
Gold Coast...
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7. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Hi Mrs MM

I can only agree strongly with what the others have said [well most] and applaud you for considering your actions.

Please please wait until you have seen these truly amazing and intelligent beasts wandering around wherever they want in Kruger. There are literally thousands of them in the park and spending time with them is simply a joy.

We have spent more hours than I could ever count watching them play and interact and believe me there is no comparison to doing this in a wild situation and 'visiting' them.

Steve has made excellent points about what constitutes a true sanctuary, which will hopefully help you decide.

Gold Coast...
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8. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Annemieke

"Well the elepannt santuary is not about " petting"."

Once again we will never see eye to eye on the subject of animal exploitation so I will simply quote an extract directly from the website itself…

"### has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience and elephant back riding. We offer hands-on interactions.. Our dedicated staff is committed to the use of positive reinforcement elephant training methods.

You will be introduced to our elephants in the forest area, and here you will be able to touch and interact with the elephants. You will see the special relationship that the elephant handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it. Walk trunk-in-hand with the elephants. See the stables where the elephants sleep at night. Guests learn about elephant anatomy and are able to feed them. "

I see the words 'training, interact, ride, stables, handlers'. That’s enough for me.

South Africa
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9. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Well they are rescued Ellie's, and will one day return to a live in the bush if possible.

And do not het me wrong I am not one of those who likes petting animals, I hate this.

But petting a Ellie! We'll try, you cannot do this. They are to big and still wild

Helsinki, Finland
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10. Re: Ethics of animal petting?

Thank you for your advise! It is sometimes difficult to uderstand the big picture, when coming from "another world" so to say.