Prince William Visits Park Where Elephants Are Forced To Dance And Play Football For Tourists: Hypocritical Or Just Ignorant?
Prince William is a well known campaigner when it come to the welfare of elephants and the banning of the ivory trade, so why did William make a recent Royal visit to a Chinese park where captive elephants are forced to dance, play football and do all manner of degrading tricks for the amusement of tourists?
The rescue centre in the Wild Elephant Valley has a dark secret, and that secret is housed a few yards away in an arena where rescued elephants are forced to dance through all manner of hoops in a degrading den of despair.
According to the Daily Mail, Kensington Palace were informed about the “cruel conditions” that exist in the park prior to Prince William’s visit, but Royal sources were adamant that Prince William would visit the park to “shine a spotlight” on elephant welfare issues.
“It goes without saying the Duke does not condone the performances, but he recognises the incredible work Wild Elephant Valley has done to protect the elephant population.”
Louise Rogerson, from the Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival Foundation, begs to differ and believes Prince William’s visit to the Park will act as a Royal seal of approval for the indignity the elephants housed there have to endure on a daily basis.
“Tourists will flock to Wild Elephant Valley now. Prince William is indirectly supporting cruelty to elephants forced to take part in these circus performances.”
Ecologist Alice Hughes was shocked when she heard Prince William was planning on visiting the notorious Wild Elephant Valley park and pleaded with the British consulate to not take the Prince to such a place.
“When the British consulate told us ‘We might take Prince William to Wild Elephant Valley,’ we all said unanimously, ‘Don’t take him there. It’s basically a circus.’ We warned the British consulate off but I think some of them are very, very naïve.”
Alice Hughes also believes that had Prince William really known what goes on at Wild Elephant Valley he wouldn’t have set foot in the place.
“I don’t believe our concerns were filtered through to any higher levels. If Prince William had known what was going on there, I don’t think there is any possibility he would have gone. I think he must have been assured they really were doing conservation work.”
One of the aides to Prince William insisted that the Prince knew exactly the type of thing that goes on at the park and explained it didn’t conflict with William’s stance that ‘no fashion is worth the extinction of a species, and that the slaughter of elephants for their tusks is the most ‘vicious form of criminality.’
“Prince William absolutely knew what was happening. Our view is, this wasn’t embarrassing. It was an essential thing for the Duke to do and one of the key reasons he went is to encourage conservation efforts and that comes in complex packaging.”
Tellingly, during his visit to the park, Prince William was asked by Sky TV journalist Mark Stone if he knew elephants were being forced to preform for tourists nearby. Seemingly shocked, the Prince was then whisked away in silence with the reporter’s haunting words ringing in his ears.
“The Chinese are using elephants to play football, your Royal Highness.”