Swimming with Baby Elephants in Phuket.. Ethical?

We LOVE Elephants, PERIOD. If humans have soul animals, ours would be an elephant. If we were wizards, our patronus would be an elephant. You get it right?  We are deeply smitten and enchanted by this glorious creature. So when we heard about this activity of swimming with baby elephants in Phuket, we had mixed feelings. We were torn with the excitement to meet these not-so-little friends but on the other hand, we were not sure if we were in fact promoting any sort of animal cruelty in the process.


The activity costs $74 for a couple (prices as of 2018), which includes pick up and drop, 20 minutes with the elephants as well as professional photographs. The activity happens at Tri Trang beach, a 25 minute drive from Patong. We had booked a 9 AM slot and was picked up right on time. As soon as we reached a secluded part of the Tri Trang beach, we could see about 4-5 baby elephants feasting on bananas and sugar cane in a makeshift shelter made out of palm tree leaves.

Swimming with baby elephants in phuket

Swimming with baby elephants in phuket


As we stepped onto the beach, two baby elephants were led to sea and before you know it, a jet stream of water hit us square on our faces. The play had begun. We refused to climb atop them but played with them, bathed them, fed them bananas by the dozen. 20 minutes went by so quickly that we stuck around to just watch them.

Now the question that kept popping in our mind’s were the whereabouts of their parents. They seemed to be looked after well.. but we were still fishing for information. We were told that these baby elephants were taken to their parents by evening. Though we really wanted to believe this, somewhere in our mind, we felt convinced there was more to it than what met the eye.

Swimming with baby elephants in phuket thailand

Swimming with baby elephants in phuket thailand


We wish we had clarity on their upkeep. Were they in fact rescued? Were they taken back to their parents every evening? Far from the eyes of the visitors, were they taken care as well? Most importantly, were they HAPPY? Sadly we do not have answers to any of these questions.

We only wish, hope and pray that they are loved and taken care off as they deserve to be. We would urge all those who love animals to donate to legit animal welfare causes and do your bit for them. They have long given up their right of existence on this planet. Lets at least make their lives a liveable one.

PS: We are unsure of the nature of this activity due to which we have not included contacts or details of the company.

Couple of Travels
Couple of Travels

We really hope this article has helped in your planning process. Comment down below or click that ‘Contact Us’ button if you have any questions. We would be super happy to help!
Happy Travels!

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