Top photo: Elephant riding offered at African Lion Safari on June 2, 2019. Photo: World Animal Protection

Tell African Lion Safari to stop elephant rides and shows

Elephant riding is the world's cruellest type of wildlife attraction in the world. (Click here to read our report 'Checking out of cruelty' with research by the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit)

Were you as shocked and disappointed as we were to know that African Lion Safari still offers elephant rides and shows?

In the wild, elephants naturally avoid contact with humans. When you see elephants up close with people, being pet, bathed and ridden at tourist venues, it is because they have been cruelly trained to fear people. But, they are still wild animals. Even in captivity, elephants still have the same natural instincts. Their behaviour can be unpredictable, especially when they are stressed and frustrated.

Despite this, African Lion Safari in Cambridge, Ontario continues to offer elephant rides and shows.

Forcing elephants to give rides to tourists and perform in shows is cruel and dangerous. It’s time for African Lion Safari to end its elephant rides and shows, given the impact it has on animal welfare and peoples’ safety.

Act now by sending an e-letter to African Lion Safari. A copy of your letter will be sent to the Ontario Minister of Labour and Solicitor General urging them to take action:

Personalized letters are always more effective. Consider adding a personalized sentence or two on why you care so much about this issue. If you live near African Lion Safari in Cambridge, ON and/or have visited this zoo in the past, please mention this in your letter as it adds credibility and influence.

Click the "Send" button when you're ready.

African Lion Safari

See our first-hand evidence at African Lion Safari:

On June 21, 2019 an animal trainer was attacked and seriously injured by an elephant at African Lion Safari highlighting the danger and cruelty of forcing wild animals to do unnatural things. (Read more in the news)

World Animal Protection staff visited the zoo just before the incident. We witnessed an elephant perform various tricks including lifting an employee up with her trunk, bowing to the crowd and painting a picture. After the show, the elephant was paraded past the crowd, where throngs of kids and adults reached their hands to touch the elephant through the fence. We watched as elephants were forced to give rides to a long line of visitors. Walking in a continuous loop, the elephants only get to stop to unload and load more passengers. When the elephants stopped to relieve themselves, the handlers joked that it was the “authentic elephant experience,” but there was little about the elephant’s life or the experience that appeared authentic or natural to us. At one point the elephants were also paraded through a parking lot full of people, kids and babies in strollers.

Many people were surprised to learn that the zoo offers elephant rides as this is not promoted on their website. A family who witnessed the attack said they were very concerned by the danger they were unknowingly exposing themselves and their kids to. Elephants are wild animals and have the ability to seriously injure or kill someone. The last time an elephant showed aggression at African Lion Safari, it was fatal.

Video showing parents with their small child riding an elephant on a small circular track. The trainer is clearly visible with a bullhook in-hand. Video footage captured by World Animal Protection staff at African Lion Safari on June 2, 2019.

Image showing a trainer, with bullhook in-hand, holding onto an elephant’s ear, a highly sensitive area, to climb on top as part of a performance for tourists. Image captured by World Animal Protection staff at African Lion Safari on May 31, 2019.

Image showing an elephant paraded past the crowd, where throngs of reaching hands touch the elephant through the fence. Image captured by World Animal Protection staff at African Lion Safari on May 31, 2019.

This is not education or conservation. This is the exploitation of elephants for profit and entertainment.

What kind of life will this baby elephant have at African Lion Safari? Giving rides to tourists is no life for an elephant. 

Our research found that 61% of Canadians find elephant riding unacceptable. Act now and tell African Lion Safari to end its elephant rides and shows for the animals and for everyone’s safety.