Elephant collapses and dies after 40-minute tourist ride in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, April 26: In a sad incident, a female elephant which gave tourists lifts at Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat Temple, collapsed and died after her last trip last week, a Phnom Penh Post report said.
The elephant, named Sambo, was employed since 2001 when she started working for the Angkor Elephant Company. On Friday (April 22), the elephant, believed to be aged between 40 and 45, collapsed in an archaeological spot near Bakheng Mountain, never to get up again. She gave a 40-minute ride to the tourists in 40-degree Celsius temperature before the tragedy struck.
It was said that Sambo died of heart attack in the heat.
Animal rights activists raised their voice after this incident, seeking to stop the practice of using elephants for tourist rides at the Angkor archaeological park in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
An image of Sambo's carcass was shared online and Facebook posts were shared several thousand times. A petition was also launched on change.org to stop the practice. It asked Apsara (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap) to take note of the incident, adding that there are no cruelty-free elephant rides.
The Elephant Valley Project in nearby Mondulkiri said the Angkor Elephant Company still has 13 animals and asked them to put an end to the practice.
Angkor Wat, which is the largest religious monument in the world, is Cambodia's biggest tourist attraction.