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The coronavirus pandemic temporarily destroyed Thailand 's tourism trade, and the pause in footfall gave one elephant attraction time to reflect on its practices. Maesa Elephant Park has experienced a dramatic heart change and has decided to scrap elephant rides and shows – allowing the animals to roam freely on the ground.
Because of coronavirus, the Chiang Mai Park was forced to close, and the owners wanted to fully reconsider their direction. Previously, the 78 elephants at the park had to carry heavy wooden and metal saddles all day on their backs to transport tourists.
Finally, the elephants have relief as the saddles were removed when the park closed in March - in a move that the owner of the park said would 'liberate' the animals. And the owners have declared that the elephants will never have to bear the load ever again.
The park will educate its visitors about elephants instead of allowing them to ride the animals or watch them in degrading shows when they reopen.
Owner Anchalee Kalampichit said to CNN: "I planned to close on 23 March and told my workers to hold the seats [for spectators] and set them aside. We 're putting away everything we used to have for tourists and my announcement to the public is that from now on we 're going to stop the shows and riding on the elephants.
Source: Be More Elephant