Cambodia's Angkor Wat has driven many tourists to its Elephant back rides every year. The Buddhist temple complex here is the largest religious monument in the world and witnesses a great footfall of tourists coming in all year.
Angkor Elephant Group Committee has announced the ban and also declared the release of 14 elephants that were used in recreational rides at the temple complex. This move has been initiated in the wake of an incident where an elephant died due to excessive stress of carrying around tourists in soaring temperatures. "High temperatures, heat exhaustion and lack of wind that would have helped to cool her as the cause of death", said a vet. The alarming incident gave rise to an awareness of the same. It led to outrage around the world, as pleas were made to stop animal abuse.
The ones riding, are not aware do the adverse situation of the animals. Most of them are trained forcibly and separated from their natural habitat. The training techniques are violent and harmful. The exhausting and extreme hours are also a great concern.
The Angkor Elephant Group Committee Director Oan Kiry released a statement, "In early 2020, our association plans to end the use of elephants to transport tourists… They 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."
Wildlife workers, animal rights organisations, and travellers bothered about sustainable tourism practices have supported the decision. This, in turn, is a positive change as it will effectively put an end to use animals attractions for recreational purposes.
Do you think this is a sustainable move? Let us know in the comments below!