Nine in 10 African elephants have been wiped out in a century, mostly because of demand for ivory
Nine in 10 African elephants have been wiped out in a century, mostly because of demand for ivory
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A CrossFit gym owner has sparked a backlash after being pictured doing pull-ups on an elephant's tusks at an animal sanctuary in South Africa.

Emma Rodgers was visiting the Adventures with Elephants elephant park near Pretoria when the incident occured.

The park has been criticised for allowing the gym-owner to hang from the elephant’s tusks.

And this isn’t the first time it appears to have happened at AWE.

According to The Mirror, pictures on social media have shown others doing so, and up to three people riding the elephants at one time - a practice which is widely condemned because of the strain it puts on the animal’s back.

After a public outcry, Rodgers released a statement on her now-deleted Instagram account defending her decision to pose for the photo and hitting out at her critics.

“I do not agree that sharing an amazing moment with this animal is cruel in any way,” she posted.

“Unfortunately only a small percentage of the world is enlightened enough to see this.”

She added: “Those of you who have made this amazing experience for me feel like something i should be ashamed of… shame on you.”

Twitter users responded to the images on the platform.

Sean Hensman, managing director at AWE, told Metro.co.uk: “We have a wonderful and happy family group of seven elephants at Adventures with Elephants on a 300 hectare wildlife reserve. 

“Our family of elephants were saved from certain death as their herd was earmarked to be culled which is why we have such a close bond. They trust us and we trust them.

“A moment taken out of context has eclipsed all the good work that we do. The reality is that elephants will be extinct within a decade if the world does not take action.”

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