Elephants will never have to give tourists rides again after coronavirus closure

As coronavirus epidemic continues to affect everyone’s lives, people are looking for a little bit positive news in all this.

But animal lovers can celebrate at least one silver lining: dozens of elephants in Thailand have been freed from giving rides to tourists!

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Maesa elephant camp in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand has been offering rides to tourists for over four decades, but now that’s all changing in an unlikely side effect of the pandemic.

Like so many businesses, the elephant camp has been ordered to close to prevent the spread of coronavirus. With no tourists, they decided to finally take the wooden riding chairs off the elephant’s backs.

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March 25 was the first day in decades that the camp’s elephants didn’t have to wear their harnesses.

But what’s remarkable is that this isn’t a temporary thing… they plan to end elephant rides for good when they reopen.

“We are not planning to put the seat supports back on the elephants, even if we can operate again,” camp director Anchalee Kalampichit told Newsflare.

The 78 elephants will still have a home in the park, but now they’ll be able to roam free instead of giving rides.

“We want to change the style of the place and find more natural ways that the public can enjoy the elephants,” she explained.

“We will welcome tourists to enjoy learning about the elephants’ ways of life naturally instead of using them to entertain the tourists.”

There has long been a push to end elephant rides once and for all, citing abusive practices found in the Thailand elephant business.

It may have taken a pandemic to finally set these elephants free, but at least the camp has taken the opportunity to change their ways and make it a better place for their elephants.

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