Baby Elephant 'Collapses From Exhaustion' While Mother Gives Rides To Tourists In Thailand
An elephant calf is believed to have collapsed with exhaustion as its mother gave rides to tourists in Thailand last week.
The heartbreaking moment was captured on camera by a tourist in the Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens in the eastern city of Pattaya.
The young male, who is seen tied to its mother's neck with a rope, can be seen falling to the floor and rolling onto his side.
Tourists can be heard "Oh no he's tired" as the baby struggles to find his feet again, under the burning 40 degree sun.
His mother then gives him some gentle encouragement with her trunk, as he finally gets up and chases after the adults who are marching on ahead.
According to an anonymous tourist, the baby elephant, believed to be around a year old,appeared to be exhausted from walking around the area collecting tourists who pay to ride its mother.
She said: "There are many more baby elephants tied with their mother walking around with tourists at their backs enjoying under the heat of the sun while these elephants are suffering.
"This one baby elephant was so exhausted, and you can see the mother comforting and encouraging her to stand."
The tourist, who refused to be named, is a Filipino migrant worker in Thailand's neighbouring country Myanmar, where she works as a teacher.
She added: ''I'm just concerned for the elephants and want to ensure their welfare is properly taken care of.''
A spokesman for the Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens has denied that the elephant was tired or being mistreated.
They said: ''All of the elephants are healthy and treated very well. If there is a problem they are treated by vets. All of the babies here are healthy.''
It's not the only recent incident of animal mistreatment in Thailand.
In April, a three-year-old elephant called Jumbo died as a result of performing at a shows in Phuket, southern Thailand.
The animal had been transferred to an elephant hospital where scans showed he had become so skeletal his back legs had broken while performing.
Just days before, Jumbo had gained international attention as photos and videos of him in chains, being forced to perform tricks and take selfies with tourists, circulated online. The footage showed Jumbo - known as the real-life Dumbo - and several other elephants being forced to perform several times a day, and threatened with a bull hook.
Animal charity Moving Animals started a petition have Jumbo moved to an animal sanctuary, which garnered over 200,000 signatures before his death.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/Waldemar Brandt