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Ayutthaya Elephant Palace to be relocated for park make-over

Tanutam Thawan

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Ayutthaya Historical Park has sent a notice to the popular Ayutthaya Elephant Palace, located on Pa Ton road, to vacate the area within 30 days to allow for improvements of the park’s landscape.

The elephants, keepers and mahouts are still providing services to tourists visiting the park.

Laithongrient Meephan, owner of the Elephant Palace, told Thai PBS that he is concerned that both employees and elephants will be affected by the eviction. He said they have been there for over 20 years and earn a living for their families and that 83 baby elephants have been born and sheltered there without financial support from the government.

He said tourists, food stall operators, Tuk Tuk drivers, tour guides and all the people involved in the elephant shows and ride services will all be affected, adding they all are part of the important endeavour to conserve the elephant tradition of Thailand’s Ayutthaya Era.

Dr. Sujin Chaichumsak, Ayutthaya’s Governor, said that the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has undergone a number of improvements of its landscape, and that the best way to settle this issue is for the Elephant Palace and the park administration to meet and find a mutually agreeable solution.

Ayutthaya Elephant Palace, or Wangchang Ayutthaya, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ayutthaya. It was established in 1997 and was formerly known as Pang Change Ayutthaya, dedicated to preserving and sustaining the Thai elephant species, and is famous for its elephant shows and rides.

Although dressed up in a historical context, the famous park Ayutthaya attraction is just another animal-tourism attraction providing elephant rides and shows for tourists. The issue is a hot topic for some westerners who decry the use of elephant rides and shows for tourists, whilst the elephants remain a firm favourite for tourists from northern-Asian tourists and northern European nationalities coming to Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Ayutthaya Elephant Palace to be relocated for park make-over | News by Thaiger

 

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