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‘I’m Not Abusing This Elephant, He Loves It!’ Says Clueless Graduated Senior in Thailand


Photo by Vyacheslav Argenberg / CC BY 2.0

CJ Hoffman (W ’18) and fourteen of his closest Upsilon Gamma brothers wanted to treat themselves after their recent graduation. You know, since the treat of an Ivy League degree fully paid by their hardworking parents while remaining wholly financially dependent just wasn’t enough.

So, they did what Penn kids know best: follow the trends of your extra af classmates and flock to Southeast Asia.

Hoffman wanted an authentic, immersive experience during his time abroad, especially while in Thailand. His primary mode of transportation went from Ubers to tuk-tuks, he silently allowed his masseuse to get a little handsy, and he even ordered his chicken pad thai with medium spice instead of mild. It’s like he’s a native! This was until he and his group of bros decided to check out the elephant “sanctuary”.

Decked out in elephant pants for which they proudly negotiated down to $25 each, they were stoked to post the perfect pic of them endorsing these beautiful animals’ maltreatment. Hoffman and the guys spent the afternoon feeding the elephants too many bananas, riding them on hilly terrain to exhaustion, and posing next to the elephants’ inadequate water supply.

“I’m not abusing this elephant. I can just tell he absolutely loves it! I mean, look at his face. He’s totally smiling,” said Hoffman when questioned about ethicality behind his day of harming the sweet, innocent animals.

Hoffman and friends left Thailand with a sense of accomplishment that was wildly unearned. Next up: tiger den in Cambodia!