Cambodia’s Angkor temple complex ending elephant rides

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Officials in Cambodia have ordered that elephants that serve as tourist attractions at the country’s famed Angkor temple complex be moved to a new home in a suitable jungle area.

The agency that oversees the Angkor site said in a statement Thursday it is important for the animals to be able to live in their natural habitat, and there are other ways to provide attractions and rides for tourists.

Some of the 14 elephants officially at the site are old and in ill health. They have been providing rides for tourists since 2001. A female elephant there died of heart failure in the heat after giving a tourist a ride.

The agency said tourists will be allowed to see the elephants at their new location but not ride them.

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