Canada: Elephant rides at African Lion Safari ‘disturb’ animal welfare advocates - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaElephant rides at African Lion Safari ‘disturb’ animal welfare advocates

15:25  25 june  2019
15:25  25 june  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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African Lion Safari does not advertise or mention elephant rides on their social media or website, indicating that they are If this is something offered in Canada, where animal welfare is generally a major concern of most people, then unaware consumers will think this is acceptable, and perhaps do

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Elephant rides at African Lion Safari ‘disturb’ animal welfare advocates© Getty A file photo of an Asian elephant in the wild.

For several days, animal lovers have been commenting on a social media post from African Lion Safari revealing an attack on a trainer by an elephant. The incident is now under investigation by the Ministry of Labour.

Comments on the Facebook post, made by the private animal park, concerned many. Not just for the well-being of the male trainer, but also expressing concern over the use of elephants for entertainment.

"Maybe that’s why elephants shouldn’t be in captivity and spend their days entertaining humans." said one comment.

"I love coming to the safari... however, the elephant rides do make me sad. The elephant is made to walk on such a tiny circle." said another.

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African Lion Safari has been around for over 40 years. Driving through the African Lion Safari is what sets it apart from other large animal zoos. Several unique shows like Birds of Prey and the Elephant walk, bath and show. Also at African Lion Safari you can ride an elephant and go on a small boat

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Elephant rides at African Lion Safari ‘disturb’ animal welfare advocates© Don Mitchell / Global News Directors from two different animal welfare organizations weighed in on the prospect of riding a wild animal at a private park on Monday.

Two directors at a pair of animal welfare organizations are surprised the Hamilton-based animal park offers rides with such a large unpredictable animal.

Camille Labchuk, Executive Director of Animal Justice, said she was "disturbed" to see a news report that claimed the incident occurred in the context of an elephant ride.

"I, frankly, had no idea that African Lion Safari was giving out elephant rides," said Labchuk, "It seems like visitors to the park can climb on top of an elephant, likely for a fee, and go on an elephant ride. Frankly, it's a miracle that the public or a child wasn't hurt in an incident like this until now."

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African Lion Safari (Ontario, Canada) - Продолжительность: 20:11 Olga Antimony 114 656 просмотров. PROOF that FARM ANIMALS are FUNNIER THAN CATS! Masai Mara - safari adventure in a wildlife paradise - Predators, big herds and wildebeest migration

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Labchuk went on to say that elephants have social structures and very complex societies of communication with family relationships.

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"Keeping them in captivity is just not the way to go," Labchuk told Global News Radio, "You can look up YouTube videos of African Lion Safari elephant shows, and you've got elephants dragging logs around the little stadium you've got them kneeling down you've got them pretending to shake their heads and doing all of these completely unnatural behaviours."

Meanwhile, Melissa Matlow, campaign director for World Animal Protection, told Global News she had known for sometime that the practice was happening at the park, but equally shocked when she went to check it out.

"The activity of elephant riding in Asia is very popular, like in Thailand for instance," said Matlow, "It's something that we're trying to change there and we weren't sure that it was still happening in Canada. And we did visit and seeing that it was and, yeah, it was pretty surprising."

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African Lion Safari wants to welcome you to Canada's original Safari Adventure. Get EVEN closer with unrivalled access to witness a pride of lions at their most active time of day as well as the opportunity to hand feed Canada’s largest herd of giraffe!

African Lion Safari has a no refund policy and tickets will not be replaced if expired, lost or stolen. Should visitors wish, they may ride the Go Train to Hamilton or Aldershot and then hire a taxi to the No, each bird and animal at African Lion Safari receives a special diet that is prepared by our staff

Global News reached out to African Lion Safari on Monday for a comment on the recent incident, but had not received an answer by end of day.

There's only one other known elephant in the Canada, according to Matlow, which is Lucy at Edmonton's Valley Zoo.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton defending Lucy’s care after ‘dishonourable mention’ on Worst Zoos for Elephants list

Two other city zoos in Canada did have elephants at one time, Toronto and Calgary, however the herds were dispatched to the United states after public pressure on municipal governments.

Toronto zoo moved aged elephants Toka, Thika, and Iringa to a zoo in California in 2012 backed by a campaign from former Price is Right host Bob Barker.

Meanwhile, in Calgary, Kamala, Swarna and Maharani were moved to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in 2014.

African Lion Safari is a drive-through Wildlife Park, west of Hamilton, and boasts to have the "largest Asian elephant herd in any zoological facilty in North America" with 16 elephants in its park, according to their website.

On Friday, Ornge air ambulance confirmed they airlifted a man in his 30s to Hamilton General Hospital with serious injuries.

Hamilton police later confirmed that same man was injured in an elephant attack.

Ministry of Labour spokesperson, Janet Deline, told Global News that an investigator was dispatched to the site, late Friday afternoon, and she said he would "be looking for potential contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act."

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