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Teerapong "Non" Sakdanarongsri, a former mahout at a commercial elephant park, enjoys a quiet moment with Sierra, a 16-month-old female elephant who already weighs 400 kg. At Elephant Freedom Village, the camp he founded eight years ago, only "positive reinforcement techniques" are used. (Photo by Adam Oswell)
The Big Story

Thailand's elephant tourism endangered by COVID blow to global travel

Plunge in visitor numbers throws animals and owners into crisis

DOMINIC FAULDER, Nikkei Asia associate editor | Southeast Asia

BANGKOK -- Jimh, a 29-year-old female elephant, gets an outdoor shower before she swims each day, descending large, flat steps and plunging into a massive, 4-meter deep blue pool.

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