Thailand Elephants Set ‘Free’ As COVID-19 Suspends Tourist Industry


COVID-19 has all of us indoors, denying any kind of public activity. Well, zero human presence has given the opportunity for zoo animals to roam around freely inside their premises. Another instance related to this is heard from Thailand which boasts a popular tourism industry.

The Maesa Elephant Camp from Chiang Mai has been forced to shut itself down given the pandemic situation. It means, no tourists, and no ‘work’ for the elephants. Finally, they have been set free!

As you may have seen, these elephants used for tourist services are always burdened with the weight of the massive wooden / metal seats that are placed on top of them. Thankfully, the owners have removed those seats from the elephants now that tourists won’t be visiting for some time.

The best news is that, the facility has decided not to use these heavy seats ever again on the elephants! The elephants will be roaming freely all over the camp, while visitors can enjoy observing them in their natural environment.

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

As Anchalee kalampichit, the camp director says, these elephants are allowed to move freely without these seats for the first time in 44 years, since the start of the tourist service in 1976.

However, since the business has been stopped, there’s no more income for the camp. Still, the management has decided to continue to bear the expense of taking care of the elephants, as well keep paying the staff. As measure to reduce the expenses, they have started to plant vegetables for the staff to eat.

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