Elephants in Bali: Please Don’t Pay For Their Suffering

Every year, nearly 3.8 million tourists visit the beautiful island of Bali. Many of them visit attractions and participate in activities that fuel immense animal suffering. When holidaying in Bali, please choose the places you visit and support with caution.
Elephant tourist parks, camps and shows exist in many parts of Asia including Bali. Tourist demand to get close to these iconic animals is fuelling the cruel and abusive treatment of elephants.


Facts about Elephant Attractions in Bali

  • Elephant training methods which keep the animals in constant compliance are based on fear and pain: Calves are “broken” by removal from their mothers, physical restraint and fear. Adults are forced to perform in a certain way through the abusive use of the bullhook (ankus).
  • Wild animals are not evolved to endure close proximity with humans. Elephants may not show overt signs of distress, and may to be obediently plodding along, but constant, forced proximity to humans without choice of retreat is extremely stressful for elephants.
  • Elephants are highly social animals and normally live in close, stable groups. Elephants used for tourism and entertainment usually live in isolation or in unnatural social groupings.
  • Captive elephants are deprived of the opportunity to perform natural behaviors, as they are either confined, tethered, or under the ankus of the mahout (rider). This creates anxiety and frustration.
  • Tourist elephants are often overworked and forced to work in the heat of the day with inadequate food, water or rest.
  • The use of elephants in tourism or for any entertainment encourages the illegal trade in wild-caught elephants. This brings immense suffering to countless animals and compromises elephant conservation efforts.
  • It is often claimed that tourist elephants are “rescued” or being kept for conservation. The reality is that encouraging human-elephant interactions is contrary to conservation and rehabilitation efforts. Teaching animals to perform inappropriate tricks portrays them to the public in a humiliating manner, instead of showing their natural grace and beauty. And this compromises efforts to promote empathy and respect.



What You Can Do

You can make a difference. Most elephants in captivity are part of tourist-driven businesses. Please don’t pay for the elephants’ suffering.

  • NEVER go on elephant rides
  • NEVER visit attractions with elephant shows or performances
  • NEVER stay in resorts or hotels that have captive elephants
  • NEVER use tour operators that book elephant rides or tours to elephant camps


BAWA does not support facilities that keep wild animals in captivity for commercial gain. Keeping wildlife in captivity for food production or entertainment is unacceptable.