There has been critisism against Monty Don about him riding an elephant but BBC defends it. Monty don’s paradise gardens Here is why it is cruel and wrong. But obviously fame and money comes first?
Elephants from when they are ripped away from their mothers. Then they are entapped in small cages, abused with bullhooks, electric prods and bamboo sticks with nails. They are starved, deprived of sleep. All to crush their spirits and become submissive.
The hook is used on soft tissue to cause maximum pain: behind ears, inside ears and mouth, in or/and around anus, under chin, under feet. Contrary what might be belived elephants does NOT have thick and insensitive skin. And “trainers” know where to hit them to cause pain and fear.
Being forced to walk around with heavy weights on their backs all day causes damage to the elephants back, skin and feet. Just as if a human walk around with a heave backpack all day it causes spinal injuries, muscle injuries, blisters, chafing and infections from untreated sores. Yet again elephants are more sensitive than many people assume. They have sharp bony protrusions that extend upwards on their spine. Imagine having that, carry heavy weight for hours and hours.
Elephants are social animals. Just like us humans they socialice, have families and friends. They feel pain, sorrow, happiness, fear, loneliness. They often walk and spend days without any interaction with other elephants. When they are not working they are chained up.
In chains usually shorter than a metre (39.3 inch) they can not move about and yet again not having any contact with other elephants.
So BBC and Monty Don have no problem with this. Everything is about ratings and money. Who care about the elephants? Not them. Have a look at this video to see how elephants are made to obey.