Elephant rides to stop at Angkor Wat in Cambodia by 2020

metro.co.uk
Lucy MiddletonSaturday 8 Jun 2019 9:08 am
Author image

Cruel elephant rides at a famous temple in Cambodia are now coming to an end.

The overworked group of 14 elephants will no longer be forced to work at Angkor Wat, where over 2.5 million international tourists visit each year.

They will be transferred to a conservation and breeding centre by early 2020, the The Angkor Elephant Group Committee confirmed.

In 2016, an elephant collapsed and died while ferrying two tourists to the monument, sparking international outrage at the practice.

Two years later, a petition to end elephant rides gained over 14,000 signatures in just 48 hours after another animal died from exhaustion.

Oan Kiry, director of the Angkor Elephant Group Committee, said: ‘In early 2020, our association plans to end the use of elephants to transport tourists.

‘They can still watch the elephants and take photos of them in our conservation and breeding centre. We want the elephants to live in as natural a manner as possible.’

Campaign group Moving Animals, who work to raise awareness of the cruelty behind elephant riding, have welcomed the move, calling it a ‘great relief’.

A spokesperson said: ‘The end of elephant rides at Angkor Wat is truly a watershed moment that shows the tide is turning against cruel wildlife tourism.

‘More and more tourists no longer want to pay to see animals in chains or captivity, and attractions where elephant riding continues, need to ban these rides if they are to stay in favour with tourists and animal lovers.’

There are still believed to be around 70 domesticated elephants in Cambodia, while experts believe there are around 500 in the wild.

This includes around 110 living in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary and nearly 200 in the Cardamom Mountains.
The number of wild elephants in Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia has declined over the past due to illegal hunting, the destruction of habitats and conflict between the animals and people, studies suggest.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said: ‘The government is working with relevant organisations to formulate strategies to protect and preserve elephants in Cambodia for future generations.

‘To effectively protect natural forest habitats of elephants, law enforcement needed to be strengthened to tackle illegal wildlife hunting and the use of snares.’

He added that awareness among local farmers in protected forests needs to be raised as often they use chemicals on crops or harm elephants when they intrude on their farmland.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/08/elephant-rides-stop-cambodias-biggest-attraction-9871921/amp/?ito=cbshare&__twitter_impression=true

Advertisements

5 Things to Know About the State of Our Oceans for World Oceans Day

ecowatch.com
Tropical fish and turtle swim in the Red Sea, Egypt, an inlet of the Indian Ocean. vlad61 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Saturday, June 8 is World Oceans Day, a chance to honor and celebrate our blue planet. Ocean lovers around the world will attend beach cleanings and other events or join a March for the Ocean to call for an end to activities that harm marine life, like offshore oil drilling and plastic pollution.

The oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, provide food and medicine and help keep our climate stable, according to the day’s organizers. They are also home to amazing animals and ecosystems, like whales and coral reefs, that make the earth a more wondrous place to live. But the world’s marine environments face unprecedented threats. Here are five things to know about the state of our oceans in 2019.

1. Ocean Plastics Are on the Rise

It’s well-known that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the world’s oceans every year. But a study published in April gave new insight into how plastic pollution has proliferated in the past six decades. Researchers found that equipment used to collect plankton had increasingly been disrupted by plastic since it first got entangled with fishing gear in 1957.

“The message is that marine plastic has increased significantly and we are seeing it all over the world, even in places where you would not want to, like the Northwest Passage and other parts of the Arctic,” Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, England researcher Clare Ostle told The Guardian.

2. Plastic Pollution Threatens Marine Oxygen Production

All that plastic floating in the ocean kills one million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year, according to the UK government. But a study published in May found it could have a disturbing impact on some of the ocean’s smallest life forms as well. Scientists exposed the ocean’s most abundant photosynthetic bacteria to chemicals that leach from plastic bags. The chemicals made it harder for the bacteria to grow and produce oxygen. This is scary because these bacteria are responsible for 10 percent of the oxygen we breathe.

“This study revealed a new and unanticipated danger of plastic pollution,” paper co-author and Macquarie University research fellow Lisa Moore told The Independent.

3. Global Warming Is Already Putting Fish in Hot Water

The oceans and the creatures in them are also threatened by climate change, and a groundbreaking study published in March found that rising ocean temperatures are already shrinking fish populations. A University of Rutgers-led team discovered that sustainable fish populations had declined by an average of 4.1 percent over 80 years. That might not sound like a lot, but it actually amounts to 1.4 million metric tons of fish lost between 1930 and 2010. And in some regions the decline was more extreme: sustainable fish populations fell by 34 percent in the northeast Atlantic and 35 percent in the Sea of Japan.

“We were stunned to find that fisheries around the world have already responded to ocean warming,” study co-author and Rutgers’ Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources associate professor Malin Pinsky told Rutgers Today. “These aren’t hypothetical changes sometime in the future.”

4. Marine Heatwaves Act Like Underwater Wildfires

Ocean warming doesn’t just damage individual species. It devastates entire ecosystems. A first-of-its-kind study published in March found that the number of ocean heat wave days per year is surging: The number has increased by more than 50 percent between two 29-year time chunks compared by the scientists. This has particularly harmed coral reefs in the Caribbean, Australian sea-grass beds and California’s kelp forests.

“You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” lead author Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK told The Guardian. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.”

5. Ocean Acidification Makes Life Even Harder for Coral Reefs

Marine heat waves threaten coral reefs by causing coral bleaching, in which corals expel the algae that give them color and nutrients. But the greenhouse gasses we are pumping into the atmosphere also endanger coral in another way. They cause ocean acidification, which is what happens when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater and changes its chemical makeup. This reduces the amount of calcium carbonate that animals like corals use to repair themselves after stressful events like bleachings. In research published just last week, scientists found that some corals and algae they studied were not able to adapt to more acidic waters. This could alter the composition and function of reefs.

“We found that corals and coralline algae weren’t able to acclimatize to ocean acidification,” study author Malcolm McCulloch said.

 

https://www.ecowatch.com/world-oceans-day-facts-2638711550.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

It’s World Ocean Day

 

It is World Oceans Day
What will YOU do?

It is Time To Act

Oceans are in trouble. Overfishing, pollution, warming, acidification and poaching are a few issues we face. These insults do not recognize political boundaries. With a myriad of issues dominating headlines daily, we must raise our voices to say: “Ocean health must be a priority; without healthy oceans, life on earth is unsustainable.”

Get Trashy!

Wherever you are, take just a few minutes to pick up some trash. Sea Save Foundation is working hard to stop this glut of plastics and trash “upstream” with laws that stop single use plastic pollution, but today we need you to help us clean up. Parks, waterways, beaches, underwater everywhere. Please take a pix and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with our hashtags (below) so we can repost!

#GetTrashy #MotionForTheOcean #SeaSave

Motion for the Ocean

We want to encourage you to take action. We need some “Motion for the Ocean”. You can be involved in a worldwide virtual movement. If we all pitch in the results will be great! You do not have to drive, march or organize. You can MULTITASK! Enjoy a beautiful day with friends and family, and take 15 minutes to clean up and then post! You’ve Got This!