Struggling zoo selling off 11 elephants as visitor numbers plummet due to Covid

The 11 elephants are up for sale

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A zoo hit hard by the drop in visitor numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic is being forced to sell off all 11 of its elephants.

The once-popular Tiger Zoo in Chon Buri, Thailand, about 60 miles from the capital Bangkok, has put the animals – and their keepers – up for sale.

They are asking for 3million baht – around £68,000 – per elephant and are offering a discount to anyone willing to take the entire herd off their hands.

The animal park closed on Friday, April 30, and is struggling to feed the animals with no income from tourists.

The Sriracha Tiger Zoo has been a popular tourist attraction in Thailand for over 30 years and is home to around 270 tigers.

Covid-19 has devastated elephant activities in the south east Asian country, with sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres struggling to stay open without international tourism, which funds the high cost of feeding and caring for the giant creatures.

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The zoo is struggling without visitors

Many elephant owners and trainers have abandoned them, attempted to put the elephants up for sale or made the long trek to their homelands.

Elephants are a protected and endangered species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora list.

Thai law forbids the sale of elephants with only a few exceptions, according to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

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Elephants cannot be bought has pets and may only be sold to another zoo, or for research, study or breeding.

Other zoos across Thailand are also trying to raise cash to feed their animals as the pandemic keeps visitors away.

Fundraising pages have been set up for many as they fight to stay afloat.

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