• Don Lichterman

Zara, #RefuseToRide, Jaipur, Himeji City Zoo, Himeko, False Tourism Claims, Elephant in the Room!

While the corona virus is top of mind worldwide, I haven’t forgotten that many elephants are still suffering and are waiting to be rescued


Today we are beginning our efforts to save Zara the elephant, who desperately needs our help.


To protect her identity and for the safety of our team, I have changed her name and are limiting the details we are sharing at this time. 


When you first see Zara (whose name means "Princess"), what is painfully striking about her is how resigned she looks to her grim life. When she's not laboring for money, she's tightly tethered by one front and back leg, unable to move.


While working, she limps on a deformed leg that does not bend.


We don’t know what trauma caused the permanent injury, but we can see that her anguish is never-ending. Her misery will only continue without your help.


Zara needs your help now. With your kindness we can rescue her from her bewildering and tragic life and give her the chance to experience life as an elephant. Please help save Zara!

Zara's condition with her current owner
Riding an elephant maybe a fun activity for you but it is an elephant's worst nightmare!

If you truly love an elephant, you will never choose to ride it. Watch this video to learn Why You Should #RefuseToRide and sign our petition here: https://e-activist.com/page/29749/act...

Elephants in Jaipur: The Statistics

From the 2018 Animal Welfare Board of India Report on Evaluation of Applications for Registration of Captive Elephants for Performance in Jaipur. FUNDING FREEDOM: WHAT YOUR HELP DOES. You deserve to know where your donation goes. Contributions to Wildlife SOS go to the following:

  • To cover attorney/legal fees to fight for elephants’ freedom in court

  • To obtain information from informants in the field

  • To cover the costs of rescue and care for elephants

  • To public-awareness campaigns that help India’s elephants

Damage in her legs, and her feet were deeply cracked. Holes had been dug into her ear folds dug the sharp implements “trainers” use to force elephants to obey. There were fresh wounds on her face from her owner’s bull-hook. 

Beware of False Tourism Claims

When booking your travel, be skeptical even when places advertise themselves as an “ecotour” or as "humane." If they advocate for the riding of elephants, painting/decorating them, or if they keep any elephants in chains, they should be avoided. To experience elephants in a humane way, please visit Wildlife SOS Elephant Care and Conservation Center in Agra to meet our rescued elephants.

VISIT OUR ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND CARE CENTER


Back-breaking saddles wore him down during the day as he gave rides to an endless line of tourists. Heavy chains tethered him at night, keeping his movements restricted. He had no shelter or way of protecting himself from the blistering heat or other elements.

For years, this is how Jahn, an elephant, lived, at a tourist venue in Thailand.


We have transitioned several tourist venues into ones that are truly high-welfare and allow elephants to roam free display behaviors that come naturally to them.

Last October, Jahn gave his last ride. He will never be burdened with a heavy saddle again. 


Still there are thousands of others like Jahn that still need our help.

When you work with the World Animal Protection, you are helping elephants live a life they deserve. We are proving that there is a demand for high-welfare venues and that cruelty to elephants does not always have to be the way.

Himeji City Zoo

Himeko, a 43-year-old Asian elephant, spends 18 hours a day indoors, swaying back and forth in her own feces and urine, and when she finally does get outside, she is forced to perform for zoo visitors. This poor creature has languished in cruel solitary confinement for over half her life at the Himeji City Zoo in Japan.


In the wild, elephants travel in large families and walk at least 15 miles a day. Himeko lives in isolation and is confined to an area that doesn’t allow her to move freely about, and she shows her frustration with zoochosis.


Zoochosis is a repetitive behavior that seems to serve no function for the animal, such as swaying, and is a symptom of severe distress among captive elephants. These highly intelligent and social creatures need to interact with other elephants and engage in other natural behaviors, and Himeko is being deprived of that basic life necessity.

It is imperative that the Himeji City Zoo relocates Himeko to a more appropriate environment, like an elephant sanctuary, where she can bond with members of her own species. The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums has failed to make this happen, despite releasing a statement over two years ago stating its support for placing elephants in proper social groups


Sign this petition urging the Himeji City Zoo to release Himeko from solitary confinement and free her from her constant suffering.

What You Can Do:
  • Stay informed. Don’t visit places that offer elephant rides. Inform your travel agent and any local guides about your preference.

  • Share your opinion. Be vocal and object strongly. Post on social media. Tell your friends, family, and colleagues why it’s important to avoid riding elephants. We know most people will avoid doing it once they know the issues. Spreading awareness is the key to reducing exploitation and abuse of animals.

  • Write to travel websites, magazines, guidebooks, tour operators, and travel agents to discourage them from offering elephant rides to tourists.

  • Write to the local tourism departments and the parks you plan to visit expressing your concerns about elephant riding. Politely request that they put an end to it.

  • Support only responsible tourism projects. Look into tours and centers that do not offer elephant rides. Make sure they are reputable conservation centers, sanctuaries, national parks, or wildlife reserves—places where tourists and animal lovers are educated about these special creatures in a conducive space that is safe for everyone involved.

Beware of False Tourism Claims

When booking your travel, be skeptical even when places advertise themselves as an “ecotour” or as "humane." If they advocate for the riding of elephants, painting/decorating them, or if they keep any elephants in chains, they should be avoided. To experience elephants in a humane way, please visit Wildlife SOS Elephant Care and Conservation Center in Agra to meet our rescued elephants.

Elephant in The Room
"Corporations Are People My Friends."
Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives.  Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives.  Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives.  Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives.   Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.


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