First elephant of our epic vacation!

Sayulita, Mexico – April 2013

This is the very first elephant of our trip, spotted unexpectedly on a walk in our neighborhood in Sayulita. Apparently, the circus was in town. Safety and security is a little different in Mexico. It is perfectly fine to take the elephant for a walk or stake it out to graze in a neighborhood, as long as his keeper is nearby. This guy would just set down the plastic chair and hang out while the elephant grazed along side the road.

first elephant

First Elephant

Of course there is mixed feelings with such an experience. It is unique and a little exciting to see an elephant being walked through a small Mexican village but it is also a little sad. When traveling you will often come across such situations like this involving animals.

What to do?

Ideally it is simple, don’t support practices with your dollars that you believe are cruel or unfair. In this case, even though it was tempting, we did not go to the circus that was in Sayulita while we were there. It was tough because it would have been an interesting cultural experience for sure. A small Mexican circus is a lot different than what we are used to – just a guess.

So even though we were excited to see our first elephant the experience left us thinking about the world and how we share it with animals as well.

What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below about how best to handle such practices. Have you run across such things in your travels? If so how did you handle it? Did you resist or did you partake? And how did you feel about it afterwards? Let us know!