COVID-19 has had a great impact on tourism all over the world. “Maesa Elephant Camp” in Chiang Mai, Thailand originally had “elephant riding” services. Due to the decrease of tourist visitations during this period, they decided to change its method and remove the seats from the elephant’s back. “Elephant riding” will be canceled, for now, allowing 78 elephants to live freely. This decision has pleased many animal lovers globally.
▼Anchalee Kalampichit, the head of Maesa Elephant Camp, said: “Since its opening in 1976, elephant riding has always been a favorite activity for tourists. However, due to the spread of COVID-19, there have been fewer tourists during this period, and the authorities have asked us to close the elephant camp. We decided to remove the seats from the elephant’s back and give them freedom.”
▼Anchalee explained that in the future, they will no longer tie seats to elephants and no longer provide tourists with “elephant riding” services. They hope that visitors can see the natural living conditions of elephants here, and further observe and understand this animal.
▼Anchalee said: “There are 78 elephants and 300 employees in the elephant camp. We spend 5 million baht a month. There are no tourists and no income. But we will not fire employees and will do our best to take care of the elephants. We are already growing our own vegetables and reducing expenses.”
Here is one of the millions of animal lovers who is happy about the news:
“There are approximately 93 elephant camps in Chiang Mai, 85 of which will be closed due to the impact of COVID-19. I hope all the elephants there can be taken care of,” Anchalee finishes.