"It has been a tough year for many, and for the elephants at Elefanjoy
sanctuary in Jaipur, India, it has been no exception. As the pandemic
hit in March, the country imposed a strict nationwide lockdown, and the
sanctuary’s dozens of elephants could no longer take their 30-mile daily
walks, vital for stretching their legs and aiding digestion.
Health problems began to set in, worsened by a glum mood that beset
human and other animal inhabitants of the sanctuary.
Ankit Pareek, who runs the Elefanjoy sanctuary, said: “The elephants
could sense the stressed and anxious feelings of the humans. Many became
depressed because they were no longer getting exercise and entertainment
from the tourists who used to walk with them, wash them, play with them
and take beautiful selfies with them. We were very worried for the
But Pareek had even greater concerns since he relied solely on the
income and donations generated by tourists. Elephants will eat up to
200kg of food a day, amounting to 10% of their body weight, and it costs
up to 5,000 rupees daily (£51) for each animal.
“We did not want to let the elephants suffer at all, they only deserve
love and respect, so we have taken loans to cover the food costs,” said
Pareek, who has lived and worked with elephants since he was a child.
“But if foreign tourists do not come back soon it is very bad for us.”
Animal rights activists have long highlighted how the training of
captive elephants for tourism is cruel and abusive. In countries such as
India and Thailand, where elephant tourism is usually a lucrative and
booming industry, the absence of tourists has created a new animal
However, activists are hoping that this interruption will finally bring
an end to this animal exploitation through tourism."
Via Glyn Moody, who wrote "more sadness for sad captives"
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics