Phajaan - "Crushing" an Elephant's Spirit

   Elephant Tourism is a money-making Industry! - Don't be fooled by "conservation" tourism. Learn! Don't participate in the cycle of abuse!

 Warning: Above video contains distressing footage.

''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. 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." Feb. 19, 2012

IT'S TRUE! See below: How it works 

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."


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.”


The Phajaan - The breaking of an Elephants spirit for work, for tourism - 2010



In der deutschen


More Videos of Phajaan – WARNING DISTURBING  (Click on "Training Crush")  -  Thai w/ English subtitles  -  Thai

Das Leid der thailändischen Elefanten  -  Deutsch


National Geographic Phajaan slideshow, 2002


Elephants Never Forget the Extreme Brutality of Their Handler's 'teaching' Methods, May 5, 2013 


WARNING: The ugly truth about elephant back rides 

Position Statement: Dr Joyce Poole, elephant researcher, 39yrs


Watch/rent the documentary How I Became An Elephant...


          ...and learn about life for elephants in Thailand and Southeast Asia - EXCELLENT!  


News stories on Phajaan & Hell for wildlife in tourism

DON'T FEED THE NEED by participating in elephant-entertainment-tourism!



Lambodhar Prasad, the elephant desperate for kindness after spending 60 years in chains, Jul. 14, 2014  

“They work all day in the sun carrying tourist in Chitwan community forests. They work seven days a week, in the sweltering heat. Food, shelter and care are dismal....No matter the mental health or physical condition the elephant works day after day wearing an ill-fitting, wound creating saddle strapped to their back so tourists can take a ride.” 


Baby elephants captured, mistreated, to supply Thailand's tourism industry, Jul. 9, 2014

"Before reaching tourist centres, juvenile elephants caught in neighbouring Myanmar are being subjected to torture rituals to "break" their spirit ahead of training to entertain tourists, according to a new report."


Smuggling ring threatens wild elephants, Jan. 11, 2012

" elephants are kidnapped for sending to elephant camps nationwide to be trained and reared for elephant shows at home or sent overseas."


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".


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."


Thai Elephants Being Killed for Tourist Dollars, Jan. 22, 2012


Wildlife tourism in Thailand: Cruel and exploitative?, Jun. 11, 2011


Can jumbo elephants really paint? Intrigued by stories, naturalist Desmond Morris set out to find the truth, Feb. 22, 2009


Abuse in India with Religious Temple Elephants (Puja or Pooja)

And at Fairs/Festivals (Mela, Dasara, Onam, Pooram)

An elephantine task to save tortured and exploited tuskers , Mar. 10, 2012 -


True Colors: Why zoos really do what they do, Dr. G.A. Bradshaw, Apr. 18, 2012


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]


Learn what makes a TRUE sanctuary

The Truth About Sanctuaries: Legitimate Sanctuaries versus Pseudo-Sanctuaries