Thai elephant centre releases chains from its animals after criticism from welfare groups

  • 4 years ago
Dozens of elephants at Maesa Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand have been freed from their chains after criticism from charities.

The elephant centre was slammed by charities for taking the pachyderms into captivity and making them perform for tourists.

One of the complaints targeted metals chains that were fastened around the ankles of the jumbos.

But bosses at the camp have now begun to remove the shackles, letting some of its 77 elephants wander around the grounds.

Footage filmed on Thursday (January 9) at the elephant centre, also called Pang Chang Mae Sa, shows some of the older creatures walking happily on the grass.

Executive officer Anchalee Kalamaphichit said that the new scheme is going well and they plan to remove the chains from all of the elephants in the coming weeks.

She said: "The centre has been criticised for a long time about how we chain the animals in here, so we decided to free them.

"However, living freely is a new thing to these elephants. They need time to adapt into their new way of living so we chose to start with the eldest and friendliest of the elephants.

"We are glad that they appeared to be happier living without chains and their mahouts, so hopefully we can free the rest of them soon."