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Tony Blair, wife slammed for taking elephant rides during Bali holiday.

Byline: ANI

London, August 14 (ANI): Tony and Cherie Blair have incurred the wrath of an animal welfare charity after being snapped taking elephant rides while on holiday in Bali.

The former British Prime Minister and his family faced the cameras as they watched elephants play football and paint with their trunks. One of the animals was said to have probed Blair's shorts with its trunk.

But the pictures have left Simon Cowell, the founder of Surrey-based Wildlife Aid, less impressed.

"By riding elephants and watching them perform degrading tricks for tourists' amusement, Tony and Cherie Blair are setting an extremely bad example," the Daily Express quoted Cowell as saying.

He added: "Before an elephant can be trained to 'play football' or paint with its trunk - just two of the tricks the Blairs watched elephants doing in Bali - its spirit must be broken.Tony and Cherie must have some inkling of what goes on. As a lawyer, Cherie specialises in human rights but it seems she has less concern for the welfare of animals."

A spokesman for Blair said: "This park is widely regarded as having high standards of animal welfare, with these otherwise endangered elephants looked after and cared for in a sustainable and protective environment." (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Aug 14, 2009
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