Happy Elephant Care, an elephant camp in Mae Wang District, has launched what it claims is the first truly ethical elephant camp in the north.
Described by TTR as a transition to become a truly elephant-friendly venue, the change to the elephant camp will end all contact between tourists and elephants “to meet the growing demand for responsible elephant experiences.”
The transformation of Happy Elephant Care is said to be pioneered by animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection as part of a coalition of leaders in the travel industry, including TUI Group, The Travel Corporation, Intrepid Group, G Adventures, EXO Travel, Thomas Cook Group and others.
Previously, the camp allowed elephant interaction including elephant rides, common among many elephant camps in the north.
What is notable is that the move will remove ALL interaction between elephants and humans. Many ethical camps today ban riding but still allow human-elephant interaction, allowing tourists to get up close and personal with the animals.
Whether a camp that bans all contact, with tourists kept a significant distance from the animals will prove to be a success, is yet to be seen.