Vietnam’s first ethical elephant tours launch
Yok Don national park has stopped offering elephant rides and now encourages travellers to see elephants in their natural habitat.
Amid growing global condemnation of elephant riding as a tourist activity, Yok Don national park in southern Vietnam has ended the practice and replaced it with the first ethical elephant experience of its kind in the country.
The formally captive group of four elephants were released from their chains earlier this month and no longer carry tourists on rides through the park. Visitors can instead observe the animals roaming freely in their natural habitat.
Previously, the Yok Don elephants, like many around the country, were chained up for extended periods of time, often without access to water. They were harnessed with heavy riding baskets, sometimes carrying tourists around the park for nine hours a day.