Wooden Chairs Tied On 78 Elephants Removed Forever After 44 Years Due To Lack Of Tourists In Thailand

by Gizel Menezes
Wooden Chairs Tied On 78 Elephants Removed Forever After 44 Years Due To Lack Of Tourists In Thailand

While the tourism industry has come to a screeching halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has brought some form of relief for dozens of elephants in Northern Thailand.

At the Maesa Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, in Thailand, dozens of elephants were set free from the heavy wooden chairs that were tied to their backs for carrying tourists for the past 44 years.

Image Courtesy: Unilad

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Elephants In Thailand Now Set Free From Heavy Wooden Chairs Tied To Their Backs

With no end to the pandemic in sight, the owners decided to scrap the huge wooden and metal carriages that were strapped to the elephants’ backs throughout the day.

Camp director Anchalee Kalampichit said it was the first time in 44 years that the elephants had not worn the seats at the start of the day. She also said that the camp has no intention of making the elephants wear the wooden carriages once the business reopens.

“Since we entered the business in 1976, riding on the elephants has always been the favourite activity of tourists. But because the coronavirus has spread there have been fewer tourists and eventually the government ordered us to close so we have removed the chairs to liberate the elephants. We are not planning to put the seat supports back on the elephants, even if we can operate again,” she said.

Image Courtesy: Unilad

The Pandemic Has Caused The Camp To Reinvent Their Style Of Business

Kalampichit also announced that their camp will change their style of business and convert it into a place where the elephants can roam around freely in the grounds, while the visitors can come to observe them.

While this is good news, the camp owners will have to bear the monthly expense of caring for the elephants and paying its staff without any income. According to Kalampichit, the total cost of the camp expenses amounts to 5 million baht (£140,000).

But with no intention no close the camp and keep going as it is, she says “We will not leave anyone behind and will try to take the best care of the elephants for as long as we can.”

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