Collette Bans Dangerous Elephant Encounters After PETA Appeal

Travel Agency Receives Box of Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks

For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pawtucket, R.I. – Following an appeal from PETA, Pawtucket-based travel company Collette has confirmed that it will no longer promote or sell activities with captive elephants. In thanks, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has sent the family-owned agency a box of elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.

“Elephants are highly intelligent, social animals who are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them when held captive as tourist attractions,” says PETA Foundation Captive Animal Law Enforcement Counsel Rachel Mathews. “PETA can proudly point kind travelers to Collette for excursions that don’t support the imprisonment and abuse of elephants.”

In Southeast Asia, where elephant tourist attractions are common, trainers often forcibly separate young elephants from their mothers, immobilize them, and gouge them with nails in a process meant to break their spirits that’s known as phajaan. Elephants who survive the process spend the rest of their lives in servitude, lugging tourists around and being beaten with bullhooks—weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a sharp metal hook on one end.

Captive elephants can snap after a lifetime of stress and deprivation. In Thailand alone, elephants have lashed out and killed about a dozen tourists in the past 15 years. Elephant attractions also present health risks: Tuberculosis, one of the deadliest diseases in the world, is transmissible from elephants to humans and has been documented in elephants throughout Asia.

PETA urges tourists traveling to Thailand or anywhere else with elephant attractions to refuse to support this cruelty and to use travel companies that have pledged to do the same.

Collette joins Butterfield & Robinson, STA Travel, Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, and others in pledging not to promote captive-elephant businesses.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind