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Elephant Rides At Cambodia's Angkor Wat Temple To Be Banned

Elephant Rides At Cambodia's Angkor Wat Temple To Be Banned

Authorities have decided to ban elephant rides at one of Cambodia's most famous tourist attractions.

Millions of people travel to see the incredible Angkor Wat temples every year, which have been around for hundreds of years.

In the past, travellers have been met with the opportunity to ride an elephant around the sacred site for a fee, however it now looks like those days are numbered.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Long Kosal, a spokesman with the Apsara Authority, which manages the park, said these rides will end early next year.

He told AFP: "Using elephants for business is not appropriate anymore."

Mr Kosal says nearly more than a third of the majestic animals have already been transferred to a community forest away from the temples where they will 'live out their natural lives'.

The country has been under pressure to take action against this type of tourist activity after receiving pressure from animal welfare groups about the treatment of the elephants.

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Angkor Wat. Credit: Dennis Jarvis/Creative Commons
Angkor Wat. Credit: Dennis Jarvis/Creative Commons

But Cambodia certainly isn't the only one who has these types of rides.

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Intrepid Travel co-founder Geoff Manchester has urged tourists to also stop paying to ride elephants in Thailand as he explains that many of the animals are being mistreated and tortured.

He explained: "A female elephant will be shot, and then its baby is captured. That baby is then tortured until it's willing to submit to humans, and is then trained to do elephant riding."

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Manchester actually used to send people on such trips until 2014, when he delved deeper into the practices of many companies.

He said: "The evidence is so overwhelming that it had a big impact on all of us who'd taken elephant riding."

Manchester also claimed that, according to his research, only six out of 114 locations treated the animals properly.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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By 2016, around 160 companies stopped offering trips of this type, and TripAdvisor has also stopped advertising such places entirely.

PETA describes the mistreatment of elephants in Thailand's tourism industry as 'a world of merciless beatings, broken spirits, and lifelong deprivation. Once revered, elephants in Thailand today are treated like slaves'.

Around nine percent of the world's population of elephants reside at these places in Thailand, with PETA claiming that most are illegally taken from the wild in Myanmar, again explaining that mothers may well be shot during this time.

The advice is always the same: never visit these places and only go to accredited sanctuaries, such as Boon's Lott's Elephant Sanctuary. Instead of riding one, you can see first-hand the brilliant rescue efforts and rehabilitation to which the sanctuary dedicates itself.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Community, Animals

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.