10 Wishes - Keep the Elephants out of Bangkok's main Streets
Update 2020 : This page is now outdated. It has been a long time since elephants have been seen in Bangkok, with their mahouts begging for food or gifts.
This short report about elephants in Bangkok, is at this moment not very relevant, since to my knowledge they have disappeared from the streets of Bangkok. To be sure, this has happened before, for them to reappear after a few months. But this time, they may have disappeared for good?
Keep the elephants out of Bangkok
Sometimes they disappear for a few months, then they invariable come back in numbers. Last week, we observed 5 (five) elephants walking down Sukhumvit soi 23.
Instead of feeding the elephants (or letting them roam for their own food), the minders hold out vegetables and fruits for onlookers (tourists) to buy and feed the beasts. Even baby elephants are dragged along, and have to try to perform for tourists. Do not engage with these people, in our opinion this is clearly animal mistreatment. Elephants do not belong in between cars and on concrete pavement. Some tourists seem to find all this particularly cute, and even make deals to take a ride on the elephants on occasion. Shame on you!!!
Elephants are frequently seen at Soi Cowboy and sometimes at the entrance to Nana Plaza. Their caretakers (or should we called them just 'thugs') sell food items to be given to the begging elephant (often calfs). Tourists are easy game, finding it oh so cute to see these beasts wandering around evading the traffic and all the hectic activity around them.
The elephant is somewhat like a 'national pride' for Thai people, but unfortunately they are not treated very well on all occasions. And beware, they do remain wild animals, and about once a year someone is trampled to death by them. My advise is to always be very careful when passing them, one faux pas and you are want be able to tell about it.
Of course, more than once a year, an elephant is maimed or killed by a car or truck driving into them. Then stories like this make the newspapers, and we are treated to accounts on how various medical experiments are conducted to save the elephants life and limbs. Better to avoid all this by keeping the poor beasts out of the city.