Mixed fates for captive elephants sent back to villages amid Thai tourism collapse

In March 2020, a massive migration began when an international travel ban to curb COVID-19 brought Thailand’s tourism industry to a sudden halt. Elephant camps, which use more than 2,700 captive elephants for controversial trekking, bathing and riding tours, were hit by the double whammy of a lack of tourist revenue and relentless gargantuan food bills. Dozens of camps shut down, and elephants and staff were laid off in their thousands. Many of those elephants were leased from owners who live in remote rural locations, where the tradition of keeping elephants goes back generations. Faced with …

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HEDGE accordingly