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Moral tensions for elephant visitors
chapterposted on 23.05.2021, 22:19 by Anja Pabel, Mucha Mkono
The study presented in this chapter examines visitor experiences at elephant sanctuaries in an era where animal ethics has taken centre stage. The study unpacks the moral tensions surrounding such attractions through analysis of social media comments by visitors. Based on this study a framework is proposed that encompasses three moral tensions that relate to animal welfare and the operations of animal sanctuaries, from the viewpoint of the visitor experience: (i) freedom-captivity; (ii) distance-interaction; and (iii) natural-staged. The chapter draws on two case studies: the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Kenya, and the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Thailand.