Shore Excursions Group Bans Elephant Rides After PETA Appeal

World’s Largest Shore-Excursion Company Receives Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Prohibiting Cruel Attractions

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Weston, Fla.

After learning from PETA that 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, Weston-based Shore Excursions Group removed all elephant rides from its website and committed to not offering them in the future.

The company works with travel agencies, cruise lines, and independent agents to offer more than 3,000 excursions in over 300 ports worldwide, making it the largest shore-excursion company in the travel industry.

“Shore Excursions Group’s decision to reject tourist traps that force imprisoned elephants to give rides will have a huge impact on the cruise industry,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges travelers to keep captive-elephant attractions off their itineraries and to use travel agencies that have pledged to do the same.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that in Southeast Asia, roughly half the baby elephants die during the grueling training, 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). Elephant attractions are also dangerous to humans. More than a dozen tourists in Thailand have been killed in the past 15 years by elephants who’ve lashed out—and tuberculosis, a deadly disease that’s transmissible from animals to humans, has been documented in captive Asian and African elephants.

The company will receive a box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates from PETA, and it joins Alexander+Roberts, Collette, Costco Travel, Tauck, TripAdvisor, and others in agreeing not to offer elephant rides.

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