We have partnered with World Animal Protection to save animals in style. Together we hope to spark a change towards animal extinction. 10% of all proceeds will be donated to their amazing work on protecting animals all over the world.



Q&A with Julie Cappiello

US Wildlife Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection

What is World Animal Protection doing to protect elephants?

Our main elephant work is to help them within the entertainment and tourism industries, where abuse and cruelty are rampant. Working with companies, such as TripAdvisor, Education First and 200+ other travel companies, to help them transition their business models to become elephant-friendly and not promoting or selling tickets to low welfare elephant attractions has been the first step and a huge success for us. In order to help the general public understand this issue and why this type of tourist attraction should not be supporters, we also conducted research on elephant venues around the world. Through our investigations, we identified one elephant camp in Thailand, called Chang Chill,and have helped convert them to better, more humane standards, making it the only high welfare sanctuary for elephants. We will continue to educate the public as well as companies and organizations on how their everyday actions can positively help elephants in the times to come. 

What are the main reasons elephants are now endangered?

Elephants are poached from the wild for their ivory or entertainment purposes (circus-like performances or trophy hunting). Additionally, human-elephant conflicts arise as people encroach on their habitats, leading to loss of food and safe shelter.

Why is forcing elephants to be in a circus or a zoo so harmful and wrong?

Elephants in circuses endure cruel training in order to perform demeaning tricks, such as sitting on each other’s heads or walking in a line holding trunks. Baby elephants are taken from their mothers at a young age and are often tied down and are painfully hit or poked with bull hooks, sharp metal instruments. These instruments are then continuously shown to the animals when performing or when forced into direct contact with humans to remind the elephants of human dominance.
In addition to inhumane training methods, elephants in circuses spend a large part of their lives traveling in tiny box cars for days on end.Zoos simply cannot provide the necessary space for animals who walk upwards of 40 miles per day.
While animal welfare standards differ depending on the zoo (with some being better than others), many elephants in high-welfare zoos have been documented performing stereotypical behaviors, such as head-bobbing or swaying. These behaviors are a sign of psychological distress brought on by captivity.Luckily, there are legitimate elephant sanctuaries around the world that don’t allow any direct contact with the animals, truly letting elephants be elephants.

How elephants are treated in the entertainment business?

Elephants in the entertainment industry are treated as money makers instead of the intelligent and sensitive animals they truly are. As in circuses, elephant trainers need to break the animals’ spirits in order for them to listen to humans, whether it’s for the elephants to perform tricks, give rides or even get fed by tourists. All wildlife being used for entertainment are subject to abuse and suffering.

Why is the illegal poaching industry so massive and substantial and what can we do to defeat this atrocity?

The poaching industry is so rampant because there is still a demand for ivory. We need to educate people about the suffering that comes from this trade and persuade them to make the decision to not purchase related products.

Is there any hope for elephants?

Yes, we always have hope for animals! People around the world are pledging not to support wild animal entertainment. For instance, large U.S. cities like Los Angeles and New York have already banned wild animal circuses and many other cities are severely restricting them. More recently, states like Hawaii and New Jersey have also banned wild animal entertainment acts and countries around the world are doing the same. Individuals have more power then they realize. By refusing to participate in these cruel shows, people have forced business owners to either evolve and use human performers or to close the curtain. So whenever the opportunity arises, we encourage everyone to raise their voice for animals.

Photos by World Animal Protection

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