lft investigates

Elephants are Being Stabbed with Nails and Chained in Feces in Thailand

A Lady Freethinker (LFT) investigation into elephant “attractions” in Thailand revealed widespread cruelty, including elephants being chained in their own waste, stabbed with nails, and forced to stand on top of one another for “entertainment.”

LFT’s investigator visited eight facilities, including– Chang Puak Camp, Chang Siam Camp, Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya Elephant Village, Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, Sanctuary of Truth, and Chang Thai Thappraya Safari.

Animal suffering and extreme abuse was witnessed at every single one, including the following:

  • An elephant who was stabbed with a sharp nail multiple times in her side
  • A young elephant who was hit twice with a bullhook after tugging on a tourist’s shirt with her trunk
  • Elephants with abscesses or wounds on their faces
  • A baby elephant nursing from his chained mother
  • Elephants with their front legs chained together, so they can’t take even one step in either direction
  • Elephants showing signs of zoochosis –  psychological distress experienced by animals in captivity – by pacing, swaying, and stereotypical head bobbing 
The animals were also forced to perform unnatural and demeaning “tricks” at the hands of men with bullhooks in front of loud audiences.

Khao Kheow Open Zoo

Sad elephant
A handler was seen using a nail – in an apparent attempt to hide the abuse from the public –  to stab a baby elephant named Saan Suay multiple times behind the ear at Khao Kheow Open Zoo. In another instance, Saan Suay grabbed a tourist’s shirt, which caused her handler to smack her with a bullhook handle and then again on her head. You could see the fear and defeat in the baby’s eyes.

Chang Puak Elephant Camp

Baby elephant and chained mama
At Chang Puak Elephant Camp, a baby elephant was seen nursing while his mother was chained, and elephants were forced to perform, including standing on each other’s backs using their front legs, throwing balls into hoops, waving their front legs, painting, and more. Handlers were seen standing on trunks of elephants, too, and hit them with bullhooks hard.

Chang Siam Park

Elephants were seen bobbing their heads and swaying with their front legs chained tightly together at Chang Siam Park. One elephant had a wound visible on her cheek, and a tear stain also visible under her eye.

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden

Nail on elephant
At Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, elephants showed signs of zoochosis, – psychological distress present in animals in captivity –including head bobbing and swaying. Handlers were seen stabbing nails and bullhooks into the elephant’s skin, and a mother and baby elephant were chained together. Elephants were forced to give rides too, and footage shows the animals hauling sometimes four people on their backs.

Pattaya Elephant Village

Elephant chained
An elephant at Pattaya Elephant VIllage was hit with a bullhook, prompting the animal to scream out in pain. Footage also reveals a handler sharpening a bullhook, as well as an elephant with her front legs chained together so tightly that she wasn’t able to take a step in either direction.

Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo

Elephant chained
At Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, elephants were seen bobbing their heads, tightly chained, and standing in their own feces. They were forced to perform, too, including standing on each other’s backs, hula hooping with their trunks, and more, all while being threatened with a bullhook.



Sanctuary of Truth

Sanctuary of Truth

At Sanctuary of Truth, a handler was seen swinging a bullhook acting like he was going to hit an elephant with it – in an apparent attempt to frighten the animal. Elephants were also seen chained, unable to move.



Chang Thai Thappraya Safari

Elephants chained

Elephants were documented in concrete enclosures chained to the floor or to each other at Chang Thai Thappraya Safari, and marks from the bullhook were seen on an elephant’s face. The animals were kept tightly chained in piles of their own feces.





This is a disgrace for dignified elephants, who are one of the most intelligent animals on Earth, and are known to show empathy for others, mourn their loved ones, and distinguish languages. There’s no valid justification for them to be exploited and abused for “entertainment” and profits – or for any other reason.


Help elephants today by never buying a ticket to any place that exploits them, and by signing our petition urging authorities to investigate these cruel “attractions” in Thailand immediately.


LFT Thai Elephant Investigation Images

baby and mom
Bullhook marks
elephant rides
Chained elephant
baby elephant
Chained mom and baby
Elephant ride
Baby in poop
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