Martin Clunes Loses Animal Charity Patron Role After Riding An Elephant

The actor was seen riding the mammal in an ITV travel show.

Martin Clunes has been dropped as a patron of an animal welfare charity, after footage emerged of him riding an elephant.

The Doc Martin actor was criticised after climbing on to the creature during last week’s episode of his ITV programme, My Travels And Other Animals.

Martin Clunes
Martin Clunes
PA Entertainment

Following the outcry, charity Born Free has severed ties with Martin, who had been a patron.

Born Free chief executive officer Howard Jones told the Mirror: “We can confirm that, with much regret, Martin Clunes is no longer a patron.

“Born Free has always been opposed to the exploitation of captive wild animals for entertainment and human interactions, including riding elephants.”

Martin is no longer listed on Born Free’s website as a celebrity patron, however a cached web page still contains his testimony praising the charity.

A statement attributed to Martin states: “I like to do whatever I can for Born Free whenever I am asked. I love the Born Free Foundation, it steps in wherever there’s an animal facing cruelty, abuse or unfairness of any kind… any animal in any place.

“It’s a truly unique resource for wildlife conservation with a knowledge base built on years of work in the field in so many countries with so many different species. You should love it too.”

In the episode, Martin clung onto the elephant’s ears and walked up the trunk before riding it.

As he got on, he apologised, adding that he “didn’t want to hurt her”.

The show had seen Martin explore the relationship between captive elephants and the people of Nepal.

The actor is yet to address on Born Free’s decision. HuffPost UK has contacted his representative for comment.


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