A Scottish #wildlife #photographer
has vowed never to return to #India
after allegedly witnessing the shocking abuse of #elephants
during a trip to a wildlife reserve.
Snapper Norman Watson, 47, claimed he was horrified to see guides whipping the gentle giants with 5ft bamboo canes and beating them, leaving them 'screaming in agony'. He also claims he spotted emaciated #baby
elephants chained to trees and in cages during the working holiday to Bandhavgarh - one of India's most popular national parks, known for its #tigers
- to photograph the big cats.
Scottish wildlife photographer Norman Watson travelled to a nature reserve in India to snap big cats but was shocked to find himself taking pictures of elephants being abused by guides carrying whips and bamboo canes
Norman, from Aberdeen, said: 'I felt so much anger, there were five people in the group and they witnessed it all, feeling the same as I do. 'We were shocked. 'The #screams
from the elephants when they were whipped put a shiver down my spine. 'They were in so much distress they were weeing themselves - while we were about 100 metres away, screaming for this to stop.' Norman visited the #Bandhavgarh #nature
reserve in April this year to #photograph #wild #tigers
but felt compelled to share the elephant #abuse
as he could not believe it was happening in an area popular with #animal
lovers. 'I felt so much #anger
, there were five people in the group and they witnessed it all, feeling the same as I do,' said Norman
Sometimes up to six people were allowed to ride on an elephant at a time in #Bandhavgarh
. Elephants shouldn't be taken from the wild or ridden by people. They should be given protection throughout #Asia
'During one of the worst incidents we witnessed, we heard the elephant in distress really trumpeting.
'There were two young elephants, about five years old, with their legs chained so close together they were actually hopping while trying to get away from a mahout beating them with a bamboo pole. 'It escalated to one #mahout
pulling the elephants over with their #tails
while the other had a sharp hook over its ear. They rolled it onto its side and beat it for about 10 minutes,