Lasah the 36-year-old Asian elephant was born in the wild in Malaysia, but has suffered his entire life. He has been locked up in various zoos, been forced to act for commercial ads and starred in a feature film.
After many years of abuse, he was sent to Langkawi Elephant Adventures in 2006, where he has been made to give rides to tourists for the last 10 years.
He is subject to daily abuse, as seen in photos that show his life unseen by the public, released by Friends of the Orangutan (FOTO) in August. At night, all four of his legs are chained to the ground, preventing him from lying down to rest. This is not only cruel, but also illegal according to Malaysian wildlife law.
People are outraged and a petition calling for the end of his abuse has already gained more than 306 000 signatures in two weeks. FOTO wrote:
After years of abuse and exploitation Lasah was sent to Langkawi in March 2006 and has since been forced to give rides for hours in sweltering heat and humidity while at the mercy of his handler.
They are calling for the Malaysian Environmental Minister to prioritise Lasah’s well-being by retiring him to the Kuala Gandah elephant sanctuary. There, he will not be forced to give rides in extreme heat at the mercy of his handler.
In a truly sad statement, FOTO's director said:
This is the worst form of elephant abuse we have had the misfortune to come across.
This cruel abuse of an innocent animal for the entertainment of humans needs to be stopped so that Lasah can live out his final years in freedom, roaming the sanctuary and resting whenever he wants to.
One person who signed the petition wrote:
Torture for tourism! Who pays for that?
Add your name to the mounting petition to free Lasah from his abusive industry.
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