‘Adventures Within Reach’ Bans Elephant Rides and Other Direct-Contact Activities After PETA Appeal

Travel Company Receives Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Prohibiting Trips to Cruel Tourist Traps

For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2018

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Boulder, Colo.

After being contacted by PETA and its members and supporters with information about the way in which elephants who are forced to give rides at tourist attractions are often forcibly separated from their mothers, immobilized with tightly bound ropes, and gouged with nails or other sharp objects, Boulder-based travel company Adventures Within Reach has removed all elephant rides from its website and committed to not offering them in the future.

“Adventures Within Reach has joined a growing movement in the travel industry to reject cruelty to imprisoned elephants,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges travelers to keep elephant rides and other direct-contact activities off their itineraries and to use only travel agencies that have pledged to do the same.”

In Southeast Asia, it’s been reported that roughly half the baby elephants who are subjected to this grueling training die during the process and those who survive spend the rest of their lives lugging tourists around or performing tricks under the threat of being beaten with bullhooks (weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a metal hook on one end). Last year, American tourists contacted PETA India after photographing eight men striking an elephant with heavy sticks and iron bullhooks for 10 minutes during a tour of Amber Fort, a common elephant-ride destination.

Elephant attractions are also potentially dangerous to humans. More than a dozen tourists in Thailand have been killed in the past 15 years by elephants who’ve lashed out, including one tourist and a handler just last month. And tuberculosis—a deadly disease that’s transmissible from animals to humans—has been found in captive Asian and African elephants.

Adventures Within Reach will receive a box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates from PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” The company joins Alexander+Roberts, Collette, Costco Travel, Shore Excursions Group, Tauck, TripAdvisor, and others in agreeing not to offer activities that involve captive elephants.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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