*GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING*
Horrific new footage shows that barbaric training is still being used on baby elephants in Thailand to prepare them to perform to tourists.
The World Animal Protection (WAP) has obtained videos of several baby elephants being which are all being abused by trainers called mahouts.
In the footage, it shows elephants as young as a year old being torn from their mothers and led away by another elephant. The creatures can be seen to be visibly distressed as they are forced away from their mother - this is done in order to make them more susceptible to human training.
The trainers can then be seen using hooks, sticks and nails to hurt the crying calves, with two sessions a day showing them learning to submit to humans.
They are also put into isolation boxes and tied to trees, chained by the neck and ankles to what is known as a 'crush box'. While they are tied up by short ropes, they can be seen losing their footing and falling down with some of them seeming to give up, just hanging on the floor.
A video even shows them washing off the blood from a calf's head after it has been through a full day of the ruthless training.
After they've been trained they are expected to dance, play with hoops, paint and walk on their back legs for human enjoyment. They are also taught how to be ridden by people. Often, they are left with scars on their body from the treatment.
The WAP website reads: "We want to end elephant abuse forever, and we have a plan. With trusted partners in the industry, we're working with tourist venues in Thailand to transform venues into destinations that are elephant-friendly, creating habitats for elephants to live happy and healthy lives.
"We hope these higher-welfare venues will wake tourists up to the abuse that's rife in other parts of the industry. And that this demand will in turn force many other venues to transform across the country.
"But work on this pioneering project needs to start today. At peak holiday season, millions of tourists will arrive in Thailand, many searching for an elephant experience."
The charity is working with a genuine elephant sanctuary in Thailand, called ChangChill, (meaning 'relaxed elephants' in Thai), hoping to support its transition from a camp that previously allowed tourists to ride, hug and bathe elephants, to becoming a truly elephant-friendly venue.
You can read more about the World Animal Protection's work here.Featured Image Credit: WAP