Around 6 million tourists visit ancient temples annually. An elephant ride is a common practice and a popular tourist attraction to take tourists to the destination. Most working elephants are old and need to retire. The great excitement caused the death of the old elephant by exhaustion. Cambodian courts and the government supported the opinion of conservationists and decided to abolish traditional elephant rides. The ban is going to enter into force by 2020.

Elephants Need Rest

Elephants have been used as a means of transport to the archaeological complex for 20 years. Apsara agency, which has been following events around the temple, sees elephants who are already very old and should stop working before they get older.

Already 2 out of 14 elephants were transported 40 km from temples in the community forest. Animal Rights activists monitor this traditional mode of transport in Cambodia and convince private companies that other means of transport can be used. Some activist groups illegally remove elephants from coaches on the pretext of brutal treatment. Unfortunately, their arguments are based on real events.

The Death of an Elephant Triggered a Struggle for Animal Rights

The elephant’s will must be broken to listen to a man. Elephants do not have an adapted spine to carry heavy load, and carrying people is painful for them. In addition, their riders often cause painful injuries to them.

In 2016, an elephant collapsed and died after a 45-minute ride in extreme heat near the complex. Reports of her death were spreading at enormous speed and raised many protests and petitions against this cruel practice in Aspara.

Neighboring Thailand also disagrees with elephant rides.

In Asian countries, elephants are considered working animals. Previously, they were used for carrying wood and other things. Their ability to handle heavy loads began to be used in tourism, where elephants are extremely overworked.

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