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The story behind elephant safari in Sauraha – Biodiversity Nepal
Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

The story behind elephant safari in Sauraha

Are elephants enjoying safaris as we do?

Easy Nepal

Chitwan has been the main hub for tourists all over the world. Sauraha, Chitwan is always best known for sightseeing as well as preferential tourist destinations in Nepal due to its captivating natural beauty and pleasant environmental attractions. It is very famous for its thrilling adventurous offerings like rafting, boating, canoeing, elephant safari, and many more. Elephant safari has been a mainstay of tourist attraction and ethical business at Chitwan National Park.

Picture showing Elephant in its shelter, chained in its front leg. Pic: Rajita Budhathoki

The elephant is an important part of the ecosystem, recognized as the most intelligent and sensitive beings on earth. Sadly, it is now in frantic straits due to habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal trades, human-elephant conflict, and poaching for ivory.

Observing the scenario of domesticated elephants in Chitwan, they are chained with low maintained hygiene. They are given harsh training for adventures such as elephant polo, elephant rides, elephant pageant, and elephant safaris. It has also been found that many privately owned elephants in Chitwan are not registered.

Elephants are not provided with proper food, habitat and their movement is only allowed for grazing, rides, and safaris, otherwise chained all the time. They are used for safaris with 4-5 people on their back. But carrying too many passengers can damage their spine which is sensitive and can leave the animal crippled in later life. Similarly, these elephants are strictly trained by beating with sticks, poking with nails or ankus, stabbing at the back so that they follow every command of their owners. Even elephants raised in such conditions sometimes turn violent and take human lives which remains secret to public ears.

As we know, the world is in the trend of being concerned about ethical involvement, climate change, and responsible tourism. People are concerned with animal welfare issues. They are raising voices for the protection and conservation of elephants in the world. “People for Ethical Treatment of Animals” or PETA is recently raising its voice against strict treatment for elephants as well.

Elephant safari in Chitwan. Pic: Bandhavgarh National Park

So, it’s very important to set ethical tourism in Chitwan National Park promoting eco-friendly activities that cause no harm or burden to any animals. Each and every tourist must know about Do’s and Don’ts in the national park in order to create eco-friendly activities.

Yeah, it might not be possible to ban elephant safari right now but, tourists can certainly go with other alternatives to spend quality time avoiding them as well. Instead of elephant safari, tourists can spend quality time walking around them, watch them bathing in their own way. In fact, activities like bushwalk and Jeep safari have also been gaining momentum these days. 

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