Where to find an elephant to ride near Brisbane, Australia?
March 2, 2009 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Where to find an elephant to ride near Brisbane, Australia?

I have a friend who is getting married soon. He's of Indian descent, and for his family in India, it was traditional for the bridegroom to ride to the wedding on an elephant. He's been back to India for a few weddings, most recently about two years ago, and it's still an active tradition there.

While we realize actually riding to the wedding on an elephant would be out of the question, his other friends and I would like, if possible to organize an elephant ride for our friend; at least, a photo taken while sitting on an elephant's back. I'm pretty sure it's safe, legal and not unkind to ride one, assuming the owner of the elephants keeps them properly, and the elephants are trained to be ridden.

Does anyone know of a small zoo or circus or animal sanctuary that might be willing to allow this? Australia Zoo has "elephant encounters" and that's a good backup option, but they don't allow actually sitting on the elephant. Alma Park Zoo doesn't have elephants at all, and I don't know of any other zoos around Brisbane.

Alternatively, is there a life-size fake elephant anywhere around Brisbane that we could take a photo with?
posted by aeschenkarnos to Pets & Animals (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I suppose you've already found this page, which lists circuses as well as zoos in Australia which keep elephants?
I would contact the local hindu organisation - I am sure they've heard the request before!
posted by Catch at 9:29 PM on March 2, 2009

Best answer: The circus is in town at Helensvale - I saw it the other day as I was driving past. Sorry, didn't get the name, but it's set up near Helensvale Town Centre (the big Westfield Shopping centre). You can see the Big Top from the Gold Coast Highway. That's exit 62 off the Pacific Motorway (M1) going toward Surfers. If you live out that way, or don't mind a drive, you could just drop by and ask. Good luck!
posted by t0astie at 10:21 PM on March 2, 2009

Best answer: The exact name escapes me, but the carnys have a guild office/hall/function centre at Yatala, just south of Beenleigh. They might be able to help you, but I'm not sure if there's even any elephants left in Australian circuses - I think Perry Bros., the last ones to have elephants in their show, gave theirs to a zoo (Werribee or Western Plains?) after an accident in 2007.

(Ah, it's the Showman's Guild of Australasia.)
posted by Pinback at 12:18 AM on March 3, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks folks, I'll follow those leads up. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:46 AM on March 3, 2009

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