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Ethical Elephant Coalition ~ home page

Welcome to the Asia for Animals Coalition ethical elephant coalition.  Please explore the following links to find out more.

This group is a collaboration by various members of the Asia for Animals Coalition network.



A future in which captive elephants live as naturally as possible under human care.



To maximise the welfare opportunities for elephants under human care and to demonstrate elephant management models which provide elephants with a degree of choice as to how and with whom they occupy their time
Provide an alternative approach to keeping elephants in captivity to ensure elephants live free from;

  • hunger, thirst and malnutrition; 

  • fear and distress; 

  • physical and thermal discomfort; 

  • pain, injury and disease; 

  • and freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour



Showcase a better world for captive elephants in Asia

  • Provide a resource for organisations to develop ethical elephant management models for captive elephants

  • Provide a resource for the public to identify ethical elephant tourism models

  • Raise public awareness of the emotional, cognitive, social and biological needs of elephants.

  • Promote the  rehabilitation and release of captive elephants to the wild if possible or,  to facilities that can  meet their needs.

  • Advocate for the effective protection of elephants and their natural social structures in the wild.

Please explore our site:

An ethical way forward for captive elephants in Asia


As the population of elephants kept in captive situations across Asia grows, so too does their suffering through exploitation, malpractices, lack of knowledge, lack of income and lack of guidance.  

The Ethical Elephant Coalition (EEC) is composed of experts from the Asia for Animals Coalition, the largest network in Asia working as a united voice for the animals. Through our members own projects of ethical elephant tourism models and tried and tested methods of providing appropriate care for elephants across Asia we offer this resource to fellow animal welfare organisations and members of the public to raise awareness of how the lives of the captive elephants in Asia can be improved.


We do not agree that tradition or culture should be an excuse for the suffering of elephants and pride ourselves in working with local people, elephant owners, facilities and the elephant trainers (mahouts) and local governments to forge a better way forward and ultimately a better life for elephants who cannot be released into the wild.

We have partnered with Elephant specialist alliance international (ESAI) who are undertaking scientific research to…………

Ethical Elephant Tourism is………..

The issues facing elephants in captivity in Asia


In many parts of Asia, there are countless elephant tourist parks and camps. The devastating reality is that this tourist-driven demand is fuelling a cruel and illegal trade in elephants. Once stolen from the wild, elephants are forced to endure the most profound cruelty - brutal training rituals employed to break the elephant's spirit and instill a fear of humans.

Elephants have been used for centuries in various Asian countries in a variety of ways, including as labourers and for transport.  Their tusks, despite official legal protections, are still highly prized as ivory.  Elephants have never become domesticated as a species, though are often viewed as such.  Cruel training methods are commonly employed to force captive elephants to comply with the wishes of their human handlers. 

Asian elephants are Endangered  but are unfortunately still captured from the wild on a regular basis in some areas.  As machinery becomes more widely available, and their previous uses become more obsolete, "unemployed" elephants have been repurposed as riding elephants for tourists, or have become "begging elephants" in the streets of some Indian and Thai cities. 

As shrinking habitats force wild elephants into ever close contact with humans, serious conflict has arisen in some areas, putting both elephants and humans in real danger. ​

The Asia for Animals Coalition possesses a great collective understanding of the issues faced by elephants across Asia, and has recently formed the Elephant Coalition in order to promote ethical elephant tourism models in which the elephant owners, trainers and members of the public can experience these wonderful animals without having harmful impacts.

Creating a kinder world for captive elephants

  • Provide a resource for organisations to learn how to create an ethical elephant model for captive elephants

  • Provide a resource for the public to identify captive elephant ethical tourism models including raising public awareness of the biological and psychological requirements of elephants.

  • Promote the rehabilitation and release of captive elephants to the wild or, in the absence of that option, to facilities that aim to best replicate the ecological and social conditions that sustain wild elephant populations.

  • Advocate for the effective protection of elephants and their natural social structures in the wild. 

Our Ethical Elephant Tourism projects


Our organisations have been working for many years across Asia to help elephant owners and businesses transition away from practices which can cause suffering to the elephants.  We have projects in Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Nepal (more?!) where elephants are living their lives free from suffering and the elephant owners and trainers are benefitting from having happier, healthier elephants whilst at the same time receiving an income via ethical tourism.




Ethical Elephant Tourism is…… where elephants 


It should not include activities such as:

  • Elephant riding by tourists

  • Bathing of elephants

  • Photo opportunities with elephants

  • Interactions with elephant calves

  • Hand feeding of elephants

  • Situations were the human and elephant interactions are unsafe

  • Performances by elephants are being offered

Please explore our site:


View ethical elephant projects


Please use this map or the table below to explore the ethical elephant models across Asia.

Use the bar at the bottom to scroll left and right...


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