Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor Wat ‘tourist elephant’ firm pledges to trim hours




Angkor Wat ‘tourist elephant’ firm pledges to trim hours

Sambo, an elephant used to carry tourists at Angkor Wat, lies on the ground after dying of a suspected heart attack last week. Photo supplied
Sambo, an elephant used to carry tourists at Angkor Wat, lies on the ground after dying of a suspected heart attack last week. Photo supplied

Angkor Wat ‘tourist elephant’ firm pledges to trim hours

The Angkor Elephant Company has pledged to reduce the working hours of its animals following the death last Friday of Sambo, one of 14 elephants it uses to carry tourists around the Angkor Wat temple complex, although critics say anything short of their release from captivity is too little.

Elephants previously worked two shifts a day: 7:30am to 10:20am, and 3:30pm to 6pm.

Burning

Angkor Elephant Company manager Oan Kiri said yesterday that a decision was taken on Saturday to reduce the morning shift by half an hour and the afternoon shift by 20 minutes.

“We did it the day after Sambo died. After the weather becomes normal, I will reconsider it,” said Kiri. “I have reported this to the owner of the company and he said he has no objection.”

A veterinarian working for the firm concluded Sambo died of a heart attack induced by the sweltering temperatures last Friday, which soared to 40 degrees in nearby Siem Reap that day.

Jack Highwood, deputy director of animal welfare at Mondulkiri-based NGO the Elephant Valley Project, was dismissive of the shift reductions in an email yesterday.

“The elephants should not be there in the first place. They are wild animals that are meant to live in the forest,” he wrote.

“If they are only ‘working’ four hours then they are chained up to a post for 20 hours. Neither of which is ideal.”

Additional reporting by Jack Davies

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that