Good news! Controversial elephant rides banned for tourists – Wildlife haven set up instead

Wildlife warriors in Vietnam have decided to end the cruel practice of keeping elephants in chains for the sake of tourist rides and instead allow them to roam free.

Ethical elephant tours are now in  place of cruel tourist rides at Vietnam’s Yok Don National Park, and it’s a huge hit.

Instead of standing in chains, the elephants are allowed to roam completely free and tourists who want to ride the elephants are politely told no.

Cruel practices

It’s all part of an Animal Asia Foundation initiative where animals now observe the elephants enjoying their natural habitat instead of ride on them. The organization hopes it will inspire these cruel practices to stop completely.

“This project has completely changed the lives of the elephants in the park and it also gives a much better experience for the tourists. The exploitation has been replaced with respect, says Dionne Slagter, Welfare Manager Animals Asia.

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Elephant rides are a thing of the past in Vietnam's Yok Don National Park, replaced by the country's first and only ethical elephant tours. Visitors to the park now trek to observe the four elephants roaming naturally in the forest. It's an amazing experience which works for the elephants, the tourists and the mahouts. And if successful, it could convince other elephant owners in the country and even the region, to turn their backs on rides and embrace welfare. The project was made possible thanks to Animals Asia’s amazing Animal Welfare team and generous funding by the wonderful Olsen Animal Trust. #animalsasia #vietnam #yokdon #daklak #untilthecrueltyends #olsenanimaltrust #animalwelfare #elephant #elephanttour #responsibletrips #elephantrides #yokdonnationalpark

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Healthier, happier elephants

Vietnam’s wild population of Asian elephants is thought to have fallen to below 100, while fewer than 80 live in captivity across the country, mostly providing rides for tourists. Animals Asia hopes more parks will follow its lead and help to create healthier elephants that breed more.

Before this initiative was set up the elephants were forced to work 9 hours a day and when not working were chained to trees with no access to water.

“In the wild, elephants spend up to 18 hours a day foraging and this is exactly how Yok Don’s elephants now spend the majority of their time. It is rainy season here and there is food everywhere. They all look so much healthier and are increasingly confident in how far they roam.” adds Slagter.

Elefant, Elefanter, Vietnam, Yok Don
Photo: Animals Asia

Such good news that the elephants are now free to roam and have a better life! Please share to spread the good news

 

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