WATCH: He may be an Oscar winner, but even Will Smith is not above conservation lore in Botswana



Published Jun 20, 2023


Botswana, known for its awe-inspiring landscapes and abundant wildlife, has long been a favoured destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. The country's commitment to conservation is evident in its strict regulations aimed at protecting its natural heritage.

Shortly after Will Smith's arrival he embarked on an adventure at one of Botswana's renowned safaris. He was especially drawn to the magnificent elephants. Curiosity led Smith to inquire about the possibility of riding an elephant, unaware of the ban on such activities.

"What if we get inspired and we want to ride an elephant?" Smith asks the ranger. "No, you can't ride an elephant," he responded.

There’s a reason why Botswana has banned elephant rides. They are highly intelligent and emotionally complex beings, capable of forming deep bonds and exhibiting a range of emotions.

Riding elephants can cause them severe physical and psychological distress, leading to long-lasting harm. The weight of humans on their backs can strain their spines, causing chronic pain and potential injuries. Moreover, the process of training elephants for riding often involves cruel practices that inflict emotional trauma and suffering.

In addition to the ban, Botswana has been proactive in raising awareness about elephant conservation. Educational initiatives, both locally and globally, play a crucial role in emphasizing the importance of protecting wildlife. By highlighting the reasons behind the ban and spreading knowledge about the physical and psychological pain caused by riding elephants, Botswana aims to inspire visitors to engage in ethical and sustainable wildlife encounters.

Either way we enjoyed watching the international celebrity enjoying his safari experience.

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