World Heritage Cambodian Temple Angkor Wat to Stop Elephant Rides from 2020

by | June 13, 2019

Cambodia’s Angkor Wat attracts a massive international crowd every year. This implies the massive amount of pressure that lies on the fleet of 14 elephants who all do the job of ferrying visitors in the 12th-century temple premises. Now, as per the latest announcements, the cruel practice of elephant rides is about to seize starting 2020. Learn more here.

elephant rides
By Guitar photographer/ Shutterstock

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Cambodia’s Angkor Wat To Seize Elephant Rides From The Beginning Of 2020, Authorities Confirm

 In 2016, an elephant reportedly collapsed amidst a riding session to the temple, dying on the spot, news outlet Mirror UK reports. This understandably garnered international criticism on the matter. Post two years, after another elephant lost its life out of exhaustion, a petition calling an end to the rides collected some 14,000 signatures within just 48 hours, according to reports.

Credit: @maya_karin/ Twitter

After years of this tormenting practice, as giving rides to humans is, the elephants are finally set to retire. The Angkor Elephant Group Committee confirmed that the fleet of 14 elephants won’t be forced to give rides anymore from 2020, and the animals will be transferred to a breeding and conservation center, early next year reports Mirror UK.

They are ought to be admired, not to ride on

Elephants are often forced to give rides for long hours. In Angkor Wat, as many as 2.5 million tourists visit the ancient temple, which results in endless suffering the elephants face through giving tourists rides. Speaking about the decision, director of the Angkor Elephant Group Committee, said tourists can still admire the animals and grab pictures with them in the conservation center.

“We want the elephants to live in as natural a manner as possible.

‘In early 2020, our association plans to end the use of elephants to transport tourists.”

Oan Kiry via

The decision automatically comes as great news to animal rights groups. Moving Animals, an animal conservation group said: “the end of elephant rides at Angkor Wat is truly a watershed moment that shows the tide is turning against cruel wildlife tourism.”

Elephants across the world continue to face undeserved treatment from humanity. Captive elephants often are forced to perform under certain circumstances at the edge of sharp hooks. They’re chained, their movements limited, and beaten to make them submissive when young. It goes without saying, riding elephant must be avoided at any cost. No single place on Earth should have elephants forced to give rides to humans. Read our coverage on the plight of Dumbo, here.

What do you think about the ban on elephant rides? Let me know your thoughts.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]



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