Tauck Bans Abusive Elephant Encounters After PETA Appeal

Wilton Travel Agency Joins Dozens of Others in Prohibiting Cruel Attractions, Receives Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks

For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2016

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Wilton, Conn. – After learning from PETA that elephants who are used for rides are often forcibly separated from their mothers, immobilized with tightly bound ropes, and gouged with nails or other sharp objects, Wilton-based travel agency Tauck made the business-savvy and compassionate decision to remove exploitative elephant attractions from its tour itineraries.

“Tauck joins dozens of major travel companies in agreeing that elephants are highly intelligent social animals who should never be imprisoned at tourist traps,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges kind tourists to steer clear of abusive elephant attractions and use travel agencies such as Tauck that have pledged to do the same.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that elephants who survive training spend the rest of their lives in servitude, 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) or other sharp objects. Elephant attractions are also dangerous to humans. More than a dozen tourists have been killed in the past 15 years by elephants who have lashed out in Thailand, and tuberculosis—a deadly disease that is transmissible from animals to humans—has been documented in elephants throughout Asia.

Tauck is a family-operated, 90-year-old travel company offering guided tours, cruises, and other tourism experiences in over 70 countries.

It will receive a box of elephant-shaped vegan chocolates from PETA and joins Alexander+Roberts, AmaWaterways, Collette, Costco Travel, Butterfield & Robinson, Friendly Planet Travel, Isramworld, Mayflower Tours, and others in agreeing not to promote exploitative captive-elephant businesses.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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