Elephants In Thailand Had Heavy Chairs Removed For The First Time In 44 Years

A park in Chiang Mai will no longer force elephants to carry tourists or to do tricks.

Cover image via พระอาจารย์เอกชัย สิริญาโณ/Facebook

The tourism industry has taken a blow from the novel coronavirus outbreak, as it continues to impact businesses around the world.

However, some good news has come out of this crisis.

On Wednesday, 25 March, 78 elephants in Chiang Mai's Maesa Elephant Camp were freed of carrying heavy chairs that tourists usually sit on for rides.

Owner of the camp Anchalee Kalampichit told CNN that they will no longer force their elephants to carry tourists or to do tricks.

Image via Trip

The park was closed on Monday, 23 March, following a drop in tourists' visits

On Wednesday, 25 March, the Thai government announced there will be a ban on a majority of foreigners from entering the country as a step towards preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Anchalee said that they hope to take this time to revamp the park and let the elephants roam freely within the site.

She added that this was the first time in 44 years where the elephants had not worn the seats at the start of the day, Newsflare reported.

When the park reopens, they will instead "educate" tourists on the elephants and will stop all shows and rides

"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," she said, according to CNN.

Young Thai elephant taking a bath in Maesa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai.

Image via Stockdevil

Anchalee added that she had already made this decision last year and had visited several elephant sanctuaries with her team to learn more.

One of them was Elephant Nature Park, a place that allows their animals to roam unchained.

"We want to do the same thing at Maesa Elephant Camp instead of riding," she said.

In light of the recent pandemic, there has also been less pollution in China:

However, local businesses need your support more than ever during this Movement Control Order:

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