THESE shocking pictures show elephants allegedly being punctured with sharp objects by cruel handlers forcing them to perform.
The shocking abuse was allegedly uncovered at the Taman Safari in the city of Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.
On later inspection the skin of the elephant can be seen to be badly damaged
A scar can clearly be seen on this elephant
It would seem the animals must suffer in the name of entertainment
Wounds are clearly visible all over their bodies
None of the audience seems in the least bit concerned at what is going on
WAZA has confirmed they are investigating the allegations.
Dr Chris Draper, Head of Animal Welfare and Captivity at Born Free, said: "Born Free has been concerned about the activities at Taman Safari in Bogor, Indonesia, for some time, as a result of numerous complaints from tourists and members of the public visiting the zoo.
"The direct abuse of elephants reported is completely unacceptable and must be investigated by the relevant authorities.
"It is shocking that this zoo is listed as a member of WAZA, which claims to represent ‘leading’, ‘high standard’ zoos across the world, and apparently requires its members to 'ensure that they ‘ensure that all animals in their care are treated with the utmost care and their welfare should be paramount all times'.
"These assurances begin to sound meaningless in light of the reported abuse and exploitation of elephants in shows and rides at one of their members zoo."
One of the beleaguered elephants raises his trunk when he sees the photographer
On the Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) website, the zoo claims to be a "pioneer leader in conservation and recreational parks".
A statement about the organisation reads: "With its long experience in this field, TSI has obtained both national and international accreditation as the best conservation institute in Indonesia for wildlife management and its supporting infrastructure."
It also states: "Today, Taman Safari Indonesia is determined in its commitment to continue its endeavour to become a conservation, education and recreation park proudly recognised the world over."
Families can be seen happily riding around on the allegedly injured beasts
Aaron, 38, added: "Every day the elephants perform in shows which involve elaborate reconstructions of human and elephant conflict caused by the palm oil industry.
"After a show when we were there, the elephants became boisterous. A handler was seen to punch one on its trunks and pull its tail in order to control it.
"On closer inspection, it appeared the handler was concealing a sharp object in his hand, which caused multiple puncture wounds on the elephant's trunk."
The safari park is now under investigation after the photographs came to light
After checking out the other elephants, Aaron said they also had similar wounds.
He said: "Security saw us documenting what was happening and asked us to put our cameras away.
"The images have not been seen by many people, but I think they will be shocked.
"Elephants are much loved, intelligent and sentient beings that should not be ridden, touched or used in shows.
"They’re not here for our entertainment. And they most definitely should not be controlled using such violent means.
"Elephants have some of the most finely tuned senses in the animal kingdom, so Taman Safari, Bogor, would be a very stressful environment for them with lots of people, small areas, loud music, flashing lights.
"It’s about as unsuitable a habit for elephants that one could imagine."
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