(CNN) – One of the most famous tourist attractions in Asia occupies a prime position for animals.
Following pressure from animal activist groups, Apsara, the governing body of the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia, announced in June 2019 that it would ban elephant rides in early 2020.
Now the process is already underway. has started.  The local Khmer Times Shopping Center reports that on November 15, two of the 14 elephants currently in the park, the site of the famous Angkor Wat Temple, have been moved to the nearby Bos Tom community forest.
Long Kosal, spokesman for the Apsara press, told the Khmer Times that the remaining dozens of animals would be moved to the same forest by "early next year."
In this photo, taken in 2007, tourists ride elephants at the Angkor Archaeological Park.
TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP / AFP via Getty Images
"The elephant is a big animal, but it's also gentle and we don't want to see the animals used for tourist activities anymore," Kosal said. "We want them to live in their natural environment."
According to Angkor Enterprise, which manages park entries, the site included in the UNESCO list is facing a decline in tourist numbers.
His latest report says that 1.8 million foreign tourists purchased passes to the temple complex from January to September – a decrease of 13.7% over the same 10-month period in 2018
whether Cambodia's ban on Angkor elephant travel will affect visitor numbers comes at a time when more travelers and travel organizations around the world are moving to eliminate animal-related attractions.