After decades of fighting concerned animal protection groups have finally found an end to the cruel elephant training!
For years the standard elephant training was biased on a system based on negative reinforcement, physical punishment, and domination — called "free contact."
As of September 2014 (yeah, it's a long time, but whatevz) the Association of Zoos & Aquariums will require everyone to switch to protected-contact elephant management. SO that means no bullhoooks (sharp steel-tipped weapons that resemble a fireplace poker) and no keeper exposure to dangerous elephants.
According to PETA Protected contact prohibits direct contact between humans and elephants and is much safer for elephants and humans alike. There will be limited exceptions for some medical care, although elephants can be taught to present parts of their bodies for injections and pills.
[Image via WENN.]