The Independent reports that Maesa Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand has removed the cubersome metal and wooden seats from its 78 elephants for the first time in 44 years. Forced to suspend operations due to the pandemic, the ownership has decided to allow the animals to roam freely throughout the camp grounds. And it appears that this will not be a temporary change.
We are not planning to put the seat supports back on the elephants, even if we can operate again. We want to change the style of the place and find more natural ways that the public can enjoy the elephants. We will welcome tourists to enjoy learning about the elephants’ ways of life naturally instead of using them to entertain…Camp Director Anchalee Kalampichit
According to the New York Times, more than half of Thailand’s 7,000 elephants live in captivity. Some experts argue that, regardless of the good intentions of the handlers, abuse is an inevitable outcome of elephant tourism. Read more here.