''I would say between 100 to 250 baby elephants are smuggled from the wild each year. That's about two to three a week,'' says Mr Wiek. ''The market is there.''
He says poachers anaesthetise the baby elephant and shoot the adult elephants who linger as the baby collapses. The poachers do not have time to take the tusks, trunk and sexual organs of the dead elephants. ''The baby elephant may wake up, the neighbours who have heard gun shots may arrive, or other elephants may return and attack.''
The baby elephants are then sold to ''middlemen'' who torture and tame the animals in safe houses for a week before selling them to tourism operators for a profit of up to 500,000 baht. Within nine years, the tourist camps are able to register these elephants as offspring of captive mother elephants, and no further questions are asked." http://tiny.cc/intimidation Feb. 19, 2012
"...For elephants being tranferred over the boarders, it is done in compliance with corrupt politicians, government officials and influential businessmen....[Regional problem!!!] ...The “Authorites” are littered with corrupt individuals who are constantly being caught out. In addition, Wieks mention of over half of the elephant tourism venues in Thailand, is on par with canned hunting in Africa." http://tiny.cc/nvtzf Feb. 19, 2012
IT'S TRUE! See below: How it works
The elephant phajaan process, 2010
"The Phajaan process originated in hill tribe communities in India and South East Asia, located in areas where elephants naturally occur. The 'ceremony' of Phajaan is said to have originated from the belief that the tribe's shaman can separate the spirit of an elephant from it's body, in effect driving the willful and wild spirit out of an elephant and leaving it under the control of it's handlers, or mahouts.
In reality, however, the Phajaan has nothing to do with the seperation of spirit, and everything to do with torturing an elephant until it is so fearful of it's human captors that it will do anything to avoid being hurt again." http://www.helium.com/items/1887892-elephant-phajaan
The elephant whisperer: A haven for mistreated animals, 2005
"[Lek] is up against centuries of rural Asian tradition because she insists elephants should no longer be subjected to phajaan. This term, which translates literally as "crush", is an understatement for a week of elephant abuse and torture. Heated irons and sharpened metal spikes are jabbed continuously into roped juveniles during their first separation from their mothers.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/the-elephant-whisperer-a-haven-for-mistreated-animals-518696.html
The Phajaan - The breaking of an Elephants spirit for work, for tourism
http://tiny.cc/phajaanfb - 2010
More Videos of Phajaan – WARNING DISTURBING
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0510/feature5/video.html (Click on "Training Crush")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0FivyPprLk - Thai w/ English subtitles
Das Leid der thailändischen Elefanten http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/content/1590486 - Deutsch
National Geographic Phajaan slideshow, 2002
WARNING: The ugly truth about elephant back rides
Position Statement: Dr Joyce Poole, elephant researcher, 39yrs http://tiny.cc/rides-evo
Watch/rent the documentary How I Became An Elephant...
...and learn about life for elephants in Thailand and Southeast Asia - EXCELLENT!
DON'T FEED THE NEED by participating in elephant-entertainment-tourism!
Smuggling ring threatens wild elephants, Jan. 11, 2012
"...baby elephants are kidnapped for sending to elephant camps nationwide to be trained and reared for elephant shows at home or sent overseas." http://www.mcot.net/site/content?id=4ff6749f0b01dabf3c03bf17#.Ub_f7L7n_IU
Wildlife centre raided after criticising tourist camps, Feb. 27, 2012
"Mr Wiek said baby elephants were sold to middlemen who tortured and tamed them before selling them to tourism operators for more than $7000. He said tourists who visited Thai elephant camps were "effectively supporting the killing and torture of wild-born elephants". http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/wildlife-centre-raided-after-criticising-tourist-camps-20120226-1twcp.html
Baby elephant watch, Jan. 25, 2012
"It appears that some camp owners will do just about anything to get a baby elephant, including hiring poachers to snatch wild baby elephants from national parks." http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/easier-stuff/276765/baby-elephant-watch?utm_term=elephant
Thai Elephants Being Killed for Tourist Dollars, Jan. 22, 2012
Wildlife tourism in Thailand: Cruel and exploitative?, Jun. 11, 2011
Abuse in India with Religious Temple Elephants (Puja or Pooja)
An elephantine task to save tortured and exploited tuskers , Mar. 10, 2012 http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2012/March/international_March358.xml§ion=international&col= -
True Colors: Why zoos really do what they do, Dr. G.A. Bradshaw, Apr. 18, 2012 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bear-in-mind/201204/true-colors
And this hellish method of breaking an elephant's spirit so they can be turned into human entertainment is used all around the world today:
Elephants are wild animals. They are not domesticated animals, like dogs, cats, and domesticated horses. [source]
The Truth About Sanctuaries: Legitimate Sanctuaries versus Pseudo-Sanctuaries http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org/gfas/for-public/truth-about-sanctuaries/