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Cambodia Has Banned Elephant Rides In Angkor Wat

The elphants will gradually be moved to a nearby forest.
PHOTO: UNSPLASH/SARAH KILIAN
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Riding on top of an elephant has long been on the many travel to-do lists, but that won’t be the case in Angkor Wat as Cambodia banned the tourist activity recently.

According to a report from CNN, Apsara, the management authority for the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia announced in June 2019 that it would ban elephant rides in early 2020.

Meanwhile, the Khmer Times reported that two of the 14 elephants in Angkor Wat were relocated to Bos Thom community forest “in a bid to stop animals from being used to ferry tourists around.”

Apsara Authority spokesman Long Kosal said that elephants have been used for several years to serve the tourism sector in the Angkor area.

Long also added that the Elephant Management Association, together with the Apsara Authority, wants to promote the well-being of the animals and allow them to live in their natural environment. The elephants will be gradually moved to Bos Thom community forest.

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As elephant tours aren’t always an animal-friendly activity, there are still ways you can appreciate wildlife in their natural habitat. In Cambodia, there are several attractions that are animal-friendly including Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center and Elephant Valley Project.

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