Conservationists call for elimination of elephant riding tours in Vietnam
Riding elephants is a tourism service that exploits animals and poses risks for both visitors and mahouts.
The news that a mahout in Dak Lak province was attacked and killed by a female elephant in late May has stirred up the public.
Vo Ngoc Tuyen, Secretary of Lak district Party Committee said he has requested the police and forest rangers’ unit to investigate and verify the causes of the elephant's behavior, and clarify the responsibilities of the elephant owner.
The Dak Lak Department of Sports and Tourism has released a document requesting tighter control over tourism activities that use elephants in the province.
According to the department, the weather is very hot with abnormal phenomena predicted to occur in the time to come. Tbis is also the time when domestic elephants are in heat, so their behavior may become abnormal, thus causing danger to manhouts, travellers and people.
The tourism department has required elephant service providers to strictly apply measures to ensure safety and protect the lives of tourists; and give warnings and instruct travelers to obey the rules when interacting with elephants.
|The news that a mahout in Dak Lak province was attacked and killed by a female elephant in late May has stirred up the public.|
They also need to follow elephants’ times in a reasonable way when using elephants for tourism activities.
They must not overexploit elephants, and must arrange time for elephants to rest; and coordinate with elephant owners and other concerned agencies to learn about the psychology of domestic elephants in different periods so as to give warnings to people.
Meanwhile, elephant conservationists have once again warned about the overexploitation of elephants and called for eliminating the elephant riding service.
Repeatedly warning that the population of elephants has decreased dramatically in recent years, they pointed out that one of the reasons is that elephants have to work too hard. This explains why elephants become aggressive and attack people.
A report shows that the 43 domestic elephants in Dak Lak have been forced to serve tourists for many years and there is no space for them to reproduce.
According to Nguyen Son Hung from the Dak Lak Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, elephant owners once asked to provide insurance policies for elephant riding services, but insurers refused to design the product.
In 2018, Animals Asia donated $65,000 to Yok Don National Park to develop a model to release three elephants into the wild. Instead of forcing the elephants to serve tourists, the organization suggested designing a new kind of tour in which travelers can observe and learn about the elephants’ lives in natural conditions.
If more effective measures aren't taken, elephants will disappear from the Central Highlands' region.
An elephant tamer in the central highland province of Dak Lak has died after being attacked by a domestic elephant.