CHIANG MAI, Thailand — For 15 years she ferried tourists around Cambodia’s famous landmarks before dropping dead at the side of the road.

As holiday-goers posed for photos and made their wish of riding an elephant come true, the elderly animal who was thought to be aged 40 to 45, dutifully plodded on.

But three weeks ago on Apr. 22, as the sweltering summer heat reached 40 degrees Celsius, Sambo suffered a heart attack and died on her way to famed Siem Reap temple Angkor Wat.

More people are learning that the old practice of riding an elephant while a mahout (keeper) controls it with bullhooks is cruel, and as a result more wild life “sanctuaries” are springing up as a more humane option offering that up-close encounter with the great Asian mammal. Read more…

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Elephants continue to suffer in ‘humane’ wildlife sanctuaries