Cambodia to ban elephant rides at Angkor temples

Cambodia's Angkor Wat complex attracts a large number of tourists, and many opt for elephant rides around the ancient temples
Cambodia's Angkor Wat complex attracts a large number of tourists, and many opt for elephant rides around the ancient temples

Cambodia will ban all elephant rides at the country's famed Angkor temple park by early next year, an official said Friday, a rare win for conservationists who have long decried the popular practice as cruel.

The Angkor archaeological complex in northern Siem Reap attracts the bulk of the kingdom's foreign tourists—which topped six million in 2018—and many opt for rides around the .

But these rides "will end by the start of 2020", said Long Kosal, a spokesman with the Apsara Authority, which manages the park.

"Using elephants for business is not appropriate anymore," he told AFP, adding that some of the animals were "already old".

So far, five of the 14 working elephants have been transferred to a community forest about 40 kilometres (25 miles) away from the temples.

"They will live out their natural lives there," Kosal said.

The company that owns the elephants will continue to look after them, he added.

Cambodia has long come under fire from animal for ubiquitous elephant rides on offer for tourists, also seen in neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

The elephants are broken in during training and rights groups have accused handlers of overworking them.

In 2016, a female elephant died by the roadside after carrying tourists around the Angkor Wat complex in severely hot weather.

The animal had been working for around 45 minutes before she collapsed.


Explore further

Thailand leads the pack for Asia's abused tourist elephants

© 2019 AFP

Citation: Cambodia to ban elephant rides at Angkor temples (2019, November 15) retrieved 14 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-11-cambodia-elephant-angkor-temples.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
245 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments