FMT LETTER: From A Ferguson (South Africa), via e-mail
I was horrified and literally speechless to see a recent photo of Siti, an elephant at the A’famosa Golf and Tourist Resort being chained up by her leg to a drainage hole. This elephant’s chain is so short she clearly has no way of moving at all.
To inflict this level of physical and mental torture on such an intelligent, sensitive and complex species is shocking even by the low standards for captive animals in Malaysia.
This ill-looking, emaciated, female elephant has long been objectified, degraded and demeaned. One can see from the photo how her spirit has been broken as she is forced to stand stock still for eight hours a day in the boiling heat with neither shade nor water apparently at hand.
She is regarded as a mere commodity for the whims of any passing visitor who wants a ‘ride’ or she is forced to paint or she is made to pose for photos to be taken with her.
I feel sick to my stomach to see such an obvious and unrepentant case of animal abuse and feel the need to ask some questions: Why is this resort being allowed to keep an elephant whom it treats even worse than a slave?
Imagine the outrage if a human being was chained to a pole all day for the amusement of others? How can people walk past Siti and see how much this animal is suffering, yet only Nature Alert has protested loudly and repeatedly about it to the NRE and Perhilitan?
Why are laws pertaining to the treatment of captive animals still regarded as unworthy of any respect (even by those who construct them) and consistantly flouted?
Is this because those who treat animals in such barbaric ways in Malaysia know they can do so without any fear of reprisals?