You don't save dancing elephants by making elephants dance.

Following PETA Asia's release of a video that they claim shows elephants at Bangkok's annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo being brutally mistreated, eight sponsors have dropped their support for the event.

The eight companies are Sunraysia juice brand, the Campari Group, bathroom supplier GROHE, water hygeine specialists Ecolab, software company JDE, petroleum specialists Angus Energy, furniture manufacturer Häfele, and motorcycle company Vespa. Each has informed PETA that they will no longer be a part of the tournament.

The video shows several disturbing scenes of elephants being beaten on the head or having their ears pulled with bullhooks—a hooked metal device traditionally used for training elephants.

The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is held in Bangkok every year by Minor Hotel Group, which owns Anantara and Avani Hotels. It presents itself as a charity event raising money for the protection of elephants, and claims to donate profits to various charities around Thailand like Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand and human-elephant conflict mitigation projects in two Thai and one Tanzanian National Parks. Click here for more information.

A search for the event's full list of sponsors on the Anantara website revealed that the event's "Sponsors" page no longer functions.  

PETA also released a tweet that shows an elephant chained in floodwater, which it claims was left to stand there all day. On the first day of this year's tournament (Mar 9), Bangkok experienced intense rainfall. 

 

 

The official report by PETA Asia can be found here.

Watch the behind-the-scene video by PETA Asia below. Warning: video may be disturbing to some:

Photo: Minor Hotels