Friday, 23 May 2014

South African elephant park accused of 'horrific' cruelty after video shows young animals being chained, shocked with electric cattle prods and hit with bulls hooks

Elephants were abused 'so they would obey humans', welfare group claims
Video footage of cruelty taken at South Africa's Elephants of Eden park
Anyone convicted in relation to case could face up to three years in jail

PUBLISHED: 07:59, 21 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:45, 21 May 2014

Baby elephants were shocked with electric cattle prods and hit with bull hooks during cruel training sessions at a South African wildlife park, it has been claimed.

The abuse, which included chaining and roping calves and juvenile animals, was captured in 'horrific' video footage taken at Elephants of Eden in the Eastern Cape, according to a prominent animal rights group.

Trainers used the methods 'to break the animals' spirit so that they would obey humans,' the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) claims.

A frame from the video shows a man riding on to the back of a young elephant. The animal's back leg is chained down while its front leg is roped up and stretched forward

'The elephants show signs of crippling injuries with severely swollen legs and feet, debilitating abscesses and wounds,' National Council of SPCA's inspector Wendy Willson said.

The video was taken on the premises of the park where the beasts were being trained for elephant-back safaris, she said.

'The calculated and premeditated cruelty of this nature that took place at this facility is a far cry from the loving sanctuary image that Elephants of Eden/Knysna Elephant Park like to portray,' she added.

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