If you frequently travel across Asia, you’d know that elephant tourism is a big thing.
Countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and India are often known for its elephant rides, but behind the scenes, things are not so cheery as these friendly animals are often times mistreated and abused.
What’s even more heartbreaking is seeing these elephants chained and being held captive in poor living conditions.
They are not only under fed but also overworked, and that has ultimately led to the death of one of the elephants in Angkor Wat, Cambodia back in 2016, the BBC
Following its death, a petition was launched to end elephant rides.
Well, thousands of animal lovers’ prayers have been heard because the largest land mammal’s misery will be put to an end soon as Cambodia has decided to end elephant tourism by 2020.
recently reported that 14 overworked elephants will “no longer be forced to work at Angkor Wat” where over 2.5 million international tourists visit each year.
The elephants will be transferred to a conservation and breeding centre, the Angkor Elephant Group Committee has confirmed.
Oan Kiry, director of the Angkor Elephant Group Committee, says that tourists can still watch the elephants and take photos of them in our conservation and breeding centre.
“We want the elephants to live in as natural a manner as possible,” he added.
It is estimated that there are about 70 domesticated elephants in Cambodia and 500 more left in the wild.
A spokesperson for animal rights group, Moving Animals, called the move a “great relief”.
“The end of elephant rides at Angkor Wat is truly a watershed moment that shows the tide is turning against cruel wildlife tourism.”
“More and more tourists no longer want to pay to see animals in chains or captivity, and attractions where elephant riding continues, need to ban these rides if they are to stay in favour with tourists and animal lovers.”
Well said! Now it’s your move, Thailand.