Young visitors ride on an elephant in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park. | Photo: Iftekhar Rahman, License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Why elephant riding is not only beneficial but necessary for an elephant’s health

Published on the Facebook page of ZooNews Digest the 25.04.2022.

Legitimate offers for elephant riding are not only beneficial to the animals but also for their health. Therefore, they are important for the animals.

» to the full post

Note: There is a small error in the text, which refers to one sentence only:

“According to an article by The New York Times, “elephants given a strict work and play regime live twice as long as elephants kept in European zoos, a median age of 42 years compared with 19 for zoo animals”.”

We could not find this article of the New York Times in our research. That does not necessarily mean that it never existed, but it was probably based on old figures about European zoos.

Für Elefanten existieren ausreichende Lebenstabellen-Daten, um weibliche Asiatische Elefanten in Nordamerika und Europa zu bewerten. Die mediane Lebenserwartung für weibliche Asiatische Elefanten, die das Lebenszeit-Sterblichkeitsrisiko (Lx ¼ 0,50) verwenden, beträgt 35,9 Jahre bzw. 41,9 Jahre für Nordamerika und Europa. Unter Verwendung der Überlebensanalyse beträgt die Lebenserwartung des durchschnittlichen asiatischen Elefanten in Europa 47,6 Jahre und in Nordamerika 44,8 Jahre.“ – Wiese & Willis (2004)

Translation: “There is enough life table data on elephants to evaluate female Asian elephants in North America and Europe. The median life expectancy of female Asian elephants, which uses lifetime mortality risk (Lx ¼ 0,50), is 35.9 years and 41.9 years, respectively, for North America and Europe. Using the survival analysis, the life expectancy of an average Asian elephant in Europe is 47.6 years and 44.8 years in North America.”

Nonetheless, we can establish that elephant riding is nowhere near as bad as its reputation. Legitimate offers can indeed be quite good for the animals.

Was wäre, wenn Arbeit im Tourismus gut für Elefanten wäre?

In the interest of the animals, it is important not to condemn elephant riding in general.

Share this post