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“Avoid. Drive past.”

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Avoid. Drive past.”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

The elephants were chained forward by one front foot and rearward by one ear foot. They rocked backwards and forwards with little slack and certainly not enough to lie down and get up. I saw no available water. We started by watching the elephants being bathed which was ok but the prodding was unnecessary. It was not a good experience and should be avoided. There are other elephants parks to be investigated.
Our driver stopped later to show us a family of wild elephants in a valley, that was rather special.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank twotoneblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
431 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
“not an attraction!”
Reviewed 6 February 2014

We thought this sounded interesting when proposed on our itinerary by our travel agent in Delhi- it's nothing short of crusel and should not be encouraged by being put on the tourist trail. We arrived early and the elephants hadn't been taken down to the water yet- they were chained on and rocking to and fro constatntly- they weren't happy animals. They were ridden down to the water and whipped, beaten and prodded constantly to do as they were being ordered to do- lie down and not move a muscle. If they raised their trunk or twitched a leg- they got shouted at and slapped. We couldn't take any more and left them to their cruel masters

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank KP58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awful”
Reviewed 19 January 2014

I dont know how it could be recommended on trip adviser.

I could take the elephants being chained to a tree but I couldn't stand there and watch an elephant be whipped and prodded with a sharp stick just because the "trainer" didn't like where the elephant was putting it's trunk.

I understand the standards are different in India to westerners but it's animal cruelty and I wouldn't recommend a visit to this place.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank donna12337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Stay away!!!”
Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile

I wish I had seen these reviews earlier before I went. It was quite distressing to see a baby elephant with chains on 3 of his legs with no slack, not being able to move more than a few inches and another older elly walk past and cope a nasty wack with a stick just for being curious. I understand that this is a traim facility but positive reinforcement tends to work better than cruelty.

Helpful?
5 Thank Tamara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
174 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“A chance to get close to domestic elephants and make a difference”
Reviewed 15 January 2014

We had a mixed experience here. On one hand the chance to watch elephants bathing at close quarters in pseudo-natural surroundings (a bend on the Periyar river) but on the other hand the rude and partial staff/mahouts who deserve being hit by the same sticks they use to control the elephants.

The positives first - in several places in Kerala, you will have a chance to see domesticated elephants take a bath, or even have a go at giving them a bath. Most of them are artificial or in man made surroundings. This one is natural, elephants bathing out in the open river not in a concrete enclosure. Morning is a nice time to be at the river side, and the elephants do seem to enjoy the personal attention they receive.

The negatives - the staff is rude, and does seem unkind to the elephants. They do not allow any tourists to go near the elephants or help in giving them a bath (they used to but rules changed because there were complaints of cruelty to elephants to make them lie still as tourists scrubbed them). But while my kids were not allowed to go near, a local official's family was allowed hands on access to which I protested. It was not fair to other visitors.

The earlier reviews say a lot about cruelty - and there is always an element of cruelty involved when man tries to stay in control of a wild animal such as an elephant. But I think most of the reviews are exaggerated views of sensitive western folk. Some visitors are not aware that Asian elephants have a long history of being domesticated, and the means and techniques of domestication are passed on from generations of mahouts so may appear out of sync with modern values of animal rights. Yes the elephants are chained to trees but how else will you stop them running away, other than making a zoo enclosure? Yes the chains scar the legs and this is not nice. Some are young calves still being trained so they need stronger control. The mahouts do have a habit of treating the animals harshly, shouting loudly, poking it with sticks etc and more should be done to stop that - you can voice your protest in person!

You can decide if avoiding this place is a better way of protesting or would you do more by going there and by your presence forcing the mahouts to improve their treatment in public. The money they charge is small change and pays for about one morsel for an elephant so you're not being ripped off. The elephants aren't going back to wild if visitors stop visiting. I'd suggest visiting and if you see mistreatment, voice your concern.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank worldtravelplus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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