三年前大象載客過勞死引眾怒 吳哥窟明年起禁止騎大象 | Cambodia to ban elephant rides at Angkor Wat temples

柬埔寨的世界文化遺產吳哥窟每年都吸引數百萬國內外觀光客造訪,其中許多很多遊客會選擇騎大象遊覽園區,這項服務多年來一直招受批評,批評者認為利用動物大賺觀光財是相當殘酷也不人道的。面對一波波討伐聲浪,負責管理園區的吳哥暨暹羅地區保護管理局(Aspar Authority)上週五宣布,將在明年初起全面禁止吳哥窟園區騎大象遊園的服務。

Cambodia will ban elephant rides at Angkor Wat temples by early next year in response to pressure from animal groups, a spokesperson of the Aspar Authority said last week.

The Angkor Wat temple complex attracts millions of tourists each year. In 2018 for instance, the number of tourists topped six million, and many of them enjoyed elephant rides around the temples, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Against this backdrop, animal rights groups have expressed concerns at the risk of mistreating animals.

美聯社報導,三年前,一頭在吳哥窟工作的母象,因為不堪在酷暑中長時間工作而導致心臟衰竭,最終死亡。母象的死亡在社交媒體上引起輿論撻伐,民眾更在網站change.org聯署請願管理局停止大象騎乘服務。

The death of a female elephant in 2016 of heart failure after working in extremely hot weather triggered outrage on social media. A petition was launched on change.org to ask the Aspar Authority to cease elephant riding in archeological sites, according to Associated Press.

面對群眾壓力,吳哥窟園區也在今年做出回應,承諾讓14頭在吳哥窟服務的大象在2020年全數除役。

Three years after the elephant’s death, Aspar Authority promised to stop the services and release all 14 elephants into their natural habitat by early 2020.

Angkor Wat will ban elephant riding in the sites by 2020. (Shutterstosk)

管理局發言人Long Kosal向法新社說道:「利用大象來營利是不適當的。」並強調許多大象都已經相當年邁。

The authority’s spokesperson, Long Kosal, told the AFP that “using elephants for business is not appropriate anymore,” adding that the elephants are already old.

Long Kosal指出,14頭在吳哥窟服務的大象中,已經有五頭被轉移到附近的保育森林,「他們會在那裡過著自然的生活」Long Kosal說道,並表示擁有這些大象的公司會持續照養牠們。

Long Kosal said five of the 14 elephants had been transported to nearby community forests. “They will live out their natural lives there,” Long Kosal told the AFP, adding that the company owning these elephants will keep looking after them.

柬埔寨媒體The Phnom Penh Post報導,Long Kosal表示,儘管園區內不會再有大象騎乘服務,遊客仍然可以到附近的保育區與大象近距離接觸並拍照。

Long Kosal added that the Aspar Authority aims to stop elephant riding in the park, but tourists can still visit their protected habitat to get a close look and take a photo with the elephants, according to The Phnom Penh Post.

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