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Former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova with a toy gibbon today on Phuket

I Will Never Ride an Elephant Again

Monday, April 6, 2015
PHUKET: Former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova said today on Phuket that she has taken her last elephant ride and urged other people to avoid taking elephant rides in Thailand.

The Canadian beauty proved her intelligence by admitting she was wrong when she was photographed with a tout's gibbon on Phi Phi recently, creating angry feedback among her fans.

Today she went to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project at Bang Pae Waterfall on the holiday island to learn about gibbons - then pledged that she would do what she could to also save elephants from abuse in Thailand.

''There's a big issue with elephants in Thailand and I'm posting about it on my social media,'' she told Phuketwan.

''Elephants are being taken away from their mothers at a young age. They are being abused and beaten in order to train them. I think any elephant is being mistreated in some way.

''Therefore I have already pledged that I will never ride an elephant again.''

Redemption for Ms Glebova came today with a tour of the gibbon sanctuary, where 37 of the appealing-looking animals remain in cages while 18 have been returned to the wild.

Slowly but surely, publicity campaigns by people such as Ms Glebova are transforming public perceptions about wild creatures being used to make money from tourists.

The sanctuary manager, Phamon Sumphanthamit, said that the use of gibbons by touts had been overcome on Phuket but there were still other places in the region - including Phi Phi, Krabi and Phang Nga - where they were still being abused.

He welcomed Ms Glebova's commitment of support.

''The place for a wild animal is in the wild, not in the arms of a tourist,'' he said.

Comments

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Elephants should be treated better, but if they can't be used for anything, nobody will feed and shelter them.

Posted by Sherlock on April 6, 2015 18:54

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Elephants, ( chang in Thailand) are treated very bad on Phuket. A elephant is a very intelligent animal. Go up the hill road to Big Buddha and see all the elephants at the road side. It is a shame! Not able to move or touch each other( chained), standing in heat. And by now enough people should know that a elephant back is not fit to carry things, it hurts the elephant. I do not understand that a Buddhist country as Thailand is, allows elephant cruelty. And all just for profit! Where is the respect for the elephant? Let them live in wild/sanctuaries. European zoo's are warmly caring elephant families. If you ever saw how a elephant family say good by to a passed away elephant family member you almost vomit when you see the Phuket treatment of elephants.

Posted by Kurt on April 6, 2015 20:20

Editor Comment:

Zoos warmly care for elephants? That's a new one, Kurt.

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Yeah Kurt, let's move all the captive elephant's to European zoos. The further up north the better. Everything's better in Europe anyway..

Posted by Jimbo on April 7, 2015 06:59

Editor Comment:

Is that Jimbo, or Jumbo?

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I guess Natalie did admit her mistakes... but did at the same time try to force the blame on the media. Perhaps she finally has had some good advice and become humble. Whether it's real or all for PR, the raising awareness has to be a positive for the animals.

Posted by Duncan on April 7, 2015 09:39


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