An elephant village in Thailand has been thrust into the spotlight after footage began circulating of a handler threatening to punch a calf.
Australian tourist Charley Costin was filming her partner Dani Tawha feeding the baby elephant when a young attendant storms into view and raises his fist to the animal, which cowers back in fright.
The handler then grabs the elephant’s ear, causing it to yelp out in pain – at which point the employee smiles, appearing to enjoy abusing the young animal.
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The baby elephant cowers back in fright after the young handler threatens it with his fist, before he grabs the calf by its ear, causing it to yelp out in pain
Ms Costin, who lives in the Gold Coast in Queensland, told Daily Mail Australia her tourist guide dropped them at Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village for an unplanned stop-off.
‘We did not pay a cent to this company, besides 100baht to buy bananas to feed the beautiful baby elephant.’
After feeding the elephant in a small fenced enclosure, the
see the young boy storms in through my filming, threatening the elephant with a punch then grabs his ear and scrunched it up, causing that heartbreaking cry and kneel down the elephant does.
At this stage i was in shock i stopped filming and continued to questioned these actions, the boy then proceeds to pull on his ear and kick his foot then chain him up.
can then be heard scolding the staff member at Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village .
‘I was in absolute disgust. I stopped filming and continued to question him and tell this little insignificant bully of a boy to stop,’ Ms Costin said in the post.
The shocking footage has amassed nearly half a million views on Facebook as well as international outrage.
Ms Costin, who was holidaying in Thailand, said in a follow up post that animal rights groups were seeking to take action against the village.
Charley Costin was filming her partner Dani Tawha feeding the baby elephant when the employee stormed into view, appearing to enjoy abusing the animal
An elephant show at Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village in Thailand, which has come under fire after the video went viral
‘I have goosebumps of happiness. Elephant Freedom Fighters and animal rights have taken action and this little guy will hopefully be making his way to a sanctuary as well as the abuser being fired!’ she wrote on Monday.
However local media have reported the handler was only suspended and the owner of the village even defended his employee, who did not ‘land a punch’ on the elephant, reports Coconuts Bangkok.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Costin for comment.
Thailand has come under fire in the past for its treatment of elephants, with some enclosures inflicting physical pain or using weapons to beat the animals into obedience.