Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction to ban elephant rides

Despite elephant populations in Asia suffering a 50 percent decline over the past three generations, in some regions, the animals are still taken away from their natural habitats to be exploited for tourist rides. But now, one of Cambodia’s most famous tourist attractions is taking a major stand for the animals.

Following pressure from animal activist groups, the famed Angkor Wat – a Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world – has begun its efforts of banning elephant rides by early 2020.

Two of the 14 elephants currently at the park have already been relocated to the nearby Bos Thom community forest, while the remaining dozen animals would be relocated to the same conservation area by early next year. 

The move comes at a time when more and more travelers and tourism organizations around the world have moved to eliminate animal-related attractions. Most recently, TripAdvisor – one of the world’s biggest travel listings and booking sites – announced that it would not sell tickets to any sites that breed whales or dolphins in captivity, such as the theme park SeaWorld.

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Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction to ban elephant rides

Despite elephant populations in Asia suffering a 50 percent decline over the past three generations, in some regions, the animals are still taken away from their natural habitats to be exploited for tourist rides. But now, one of Cambodia’s most famous tourist attractions is taking a major stand for the animals.

Following pressure from animal activist groups, the famed Angkor Wat – a Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world – has begun its efforts of banning elephant rides by early 2020.

Two of the 14 elephants currently at the park have already been relocated to the nearby Bos Thom community forest, while the remaining dozen animals would be relocated to the same conservation area by early next year. 

The move comes at a time when more and more travelers and tourism organizations around the world have moved to eliminate animal-related attractions. Most recently, TripAdvisor – one of the world’s biggest travel listings and booking sites – announced that it would not sell tickets to any sites that breed whales or dolphins in captivity, such as the theme park SeaWorld.

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