Danish tour operator Apollo stops 11 out of 17 elephant tours in Thailand and India with immediate effect. The sudden halt is the result of Apollo’s cooperation with two animal welfare NGO’s.
The tours left on the program er tours where you see the elephants in their natural environment. This is the first step in a more longterm cooperation with World Animal Protection and a more longterm initiative for Apollo to no longer offer tours where animals are made to suffer.
Exotic elephant treks are not the only thing Apollo is taking off the program, animal parks without focus on rehabilitation of animals that are reintroduced to nature are also being taken off the program.
“You can say what you want, for now, we have taken a small step in the right direction, but we aim to take a giant leap. In the future we will not collaborate with suppliers who do not make sure that the animals have optimal conditions. Unfortunately the initiative cannot be implemented in a day or two, but we hope to be 100% in goal in 2015,” Glenn Bisgaard, Head of Communication in Apollo says in a press release.
This announcement comes shortly after the welfare of the elephants on the popular elephant treks in Thailand have been debated in the Danish media. Apollo has created a new Code of Conduct in collaboration with World Animal Protection and CITES. In the press release Apollo states that the elephant tours are just the beginning and that all of their tours involving animals will be investigated further in 2015.