Roxy Jacenko has issued a statement after copping mass backlash over a now-deleted Instagram video that showed her children riding elephants in Thailand.
The elephants who are captured for elephant ride services are subjected to serious abuse and therefore it’s considered cruel to partake in elephant rides.
“I am genuinely shocked. I had no idea,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
“If I did, I obviously wouldn’t have participated and educated the children on the topic as to why they couldn’t take part.
“This is our first trip to Phuket, and it’s been a remarkable experience overall, when we saw the two elephants on the beach, adjacent to where we are staying, the kids were overjoyed having never had an experience to get so close to such a remarkable animal and being genuine animal lovers.”
Shortly after posting the video, the comment section became flooded with angry responses from her followers who pointed out the cruelty elephants cop just so privileged people can have a ride.
“It’s so bad to be riding elephants! It’s so cruel and encouraging their exploitation,” one commenter wrote.
“I think it’s far from amazing and shouldn’t be allowed,” wrote another.
Roxy said that after she spotted the comments, she removed the vid and began to educate herself on the subject.
Animal rights group PETA also issued a statement on the video.
“Shame on Roxy Jacenko for encouraging her children to ride elephants – sending them the message that animals are ours to exploit,” they said.
“All over the world, including in Thailand, tourist traps offer the chance to climb onto an elephant’s back without divulging to the visitors what these animals endure for this.
“Baby elephants’ spirits are broken through an egregiously cruel process in which still-nursing elephants are dragged away from their mothers, immobilised, and gouged with bullhooks and nails. These horrific ‘training sessions’ often leave elephants severely injured and traumatised, and some don’t survive.”
They concluded, “Riding elephants or visiting camps that force these animals to come into contact with humans directly supports this abuse. In this day and age, it’s alarming that anyone would ever think this was OK – especially a PR professional.”
Animal rights, baby!!!