A shocking video released by PETA Asia shows elephants being beaten by the handlers in a prestigious elephant polo tournament in Thailand. The incident took place at Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort during the 2018 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Bangkok.
The mahouts are seen violently beating the elephants with bullhooks (a weapon that has a very sharp metal hook on one end) and pulling them with hooks in their extremely sensitive ears.
Criticising the event, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said, "Beating elephants into 'playing' polo for public amusement while claiming to fund elephant conservation is a cruel scam, and the sponsors must pull out now."
You can watch the video here.
WARNING: SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND THE CONTENTS OF THIS VIDEO DISTURBING.
Newkirk also added, "PETA is calling on IBM to stop putting its name on this abusive spectacle and never support events that exploit animals in the future."
Apart from IBM, renowned brands including Johnnie Walker, Peroni and Ferrari have been urged to withdraw their support to 2018 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Bangkok.
The website of Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort claims that elephant polo plays a 'vital' role in the conservation of elephants in Thailand. "Alarmingly, overall numbers of elephants are further decreasing, making projects like Anantara's Elephant Camp vital to the success of national conservation efforts," the website says.