Dozens of elephants were set free this morning (March 25) as their owners scrapped the heavy wooden chairs that are tied to their backs for carrying tourists. The jumbos at the Maesa elephant camp in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, have been giving rides to holidaymakers for 44 years but the Covid-19 coronavirus has decimated tourism. With no end to the pandemic in sight and a ban on such businesses opening, owners have decided to scrap the huge wooden and metal carriages that are strapped to the elephants' backs throughout the day. Camp director Anchalee Kalampichit said this was the first time in 44 years that the elephants had not worn the seats at the start of the day. She said the company will now change their business to allow the elephants to roam freely in the grounds and operate as a place for visitors to observe the animals - and all 78 of the jumbos will never have to wear them again. She said: "Since we entered the business in 1976, riding on the elephants has always been the favourite activity of tourists. "But because the coronavirus has spread there have been fewer tourists and eventually the government ordered us to close so we have removed the chairs to liberate the elephants. "We are not planning to put the seat supports back on the elephants, even if we can operate again. We want to change the style of the place and find more natural ways that the public can enjoy the elephants. "We will welcome tourists to enjoy learning about the elephants' ways of life naturally instead of using them to entertain the tourists." Anchalee added that the government enforced closure of the elephant camp, along with 28 other types of non-essential customer-facing businesses, means that the owners will have to take care of the animals without any revenue from customers. She said: "The cost for taking care of the 78 elephants and 300 staff is five million THB (130,399GBP) per month. So for now, we have to bear that expense without income from tourists. "But we will not leave anyone behind and will try to take the best care of the elephants for as long as we can. Now we are planting vegetables for the staff to eat as one of the ways we can reduce the expenses." In Chiang Mai, where there are 93 elephant camps of varying size, officials said that 85 of them were facing closure unless the situation improved. Boontha Chailert, president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and the Maetaeng Elephant Park, said hundreds of other elephant centres around Thailand were also facing closure due to the lack of tourists.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- The Providence Journal
More than 20 years ago, Mike Moffitt started getting a lot of calls from a Florida phone number from a woman trying to reach her daughter.
- The Providence Journal
Mark Daniels' take on Mac Jones, New England Patriots rookie quarterback, who continues to make other teams look bad for passing on him in the NFL Draft.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Steph Curry was having a fine game against the Clippers heading into the fourth quarter. Then a technical foul was called, and his spark was lit.
- The Oklahoman
Taking a look at five candidates to replace Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley.
- College Football News
Bowl Projections and College Football Playoff Picks: Week 13. They're the last big bowl projections before it all comes out next Sunday.
- Men's Health
Pulmonary medicine and critical care specialist Dr. Mike Hansen explains what you need to know about the new Covid-19 strain known as the Omicron variant.
- Madame Noire
Venus And Serena’s Half-Sister Slams ‘King Richard’ Biopic: ‘Those Girls Rose To The Top While His Children Had To Suffer’
Sabrina Williams's late mother, Betty Johnson, was married to the former tennis coach in the early sixties. The couple had four children together shortly before Williams allegedly walked out on his family according to the Wimbledon champs estranged sister.
FYI: You're probably doing a few things wrong when getting a shampoo.View Entire Post ›
"Congrats guys!" Charli XCX wrote on Instagram, sharing an outtake of her wardrobe malfunction at the ARIA Music Awards, in which she suffered a nip slip while presenting an award to Justin Bieber
- The Columbus Dispatch
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh added some trash talk of his own following the Wolverines' upset of Ohio State.
- Fox News
Arizona university students demand administration to 'withdraw' Kyle Rittenhouse: 'killer off our campus'
Several left-leaning student organizations at Arizona State University are demanding that their administration “withdraw” Kyle Rittenhouse from the university.
- The Daily Advertiser
LSU offensive line coach Brad Davis will coach the Tigers in the bowl game.
- Fighting Irish Wire
How do your top six compare to Herbstreit's?
- USA TODAY
Two-year-old Emma Sweet was found three miles downstream from where her father had been found by duck hunters on Friday.
Who doesn’t love baby bump photos? Some are silly, some are majestic ala Beyonce and Halsey — and some give us a rare glimpse into how some private celebrities are handling their pregnancies. This time, famously private A-lister Christina Ricci gave us a glimpse into her life with a rare bare baby bump selfie. Motherhood […]
- Business Insider
I watched 60 hours of My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell's 96-hour election fraud live stream so you don't have to. Here are 5 things you missed.
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell held a 96-hour marathon livestream from Thursday to Sunday, where he pushed debunked election fraud conspiracy theories.
- NBC Sports BayArea
After a bad start, Jimmy Garoppolo responds to a fiery conversation with Kyle Shanahan
- Yahoo Sports
Joe Buck has jokes, everyone.
- Ducks Wire
How should Duck fans feel about USC hiring Lincoln Riley? It's great for the Pac-12 as a whole, but bad for the talent gap Oregon has enjoyed recently.
- Lebron Wire
A new trade proposal has the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring this forward from the Oklahoma City Thunder.