(CNN) – One of the most famous tourist attractions in Asia is the keeping of animals.
Under pressure from animal rights groups, Apsara, the managing authority for the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia, announced in June 2019 to ban elephant rides in early 2020.
Now the process has already begun.  The Khmer Times reports that on November 15, two of the 14 elephants currently in the park, where the famous Angkor Wat Temple is located, have been relocated to the nearby forest of Bos Thom.
Long Kosal, a press representative from Apsara, told the Khmer Times that the remaining dozen animals would be relocated to the same forest "early next year".
In this photo from 2007, tourists were riding elephants in the archaeological park of Angkor.
TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP / AFP About Getty Images
"The elephant is a big animal, but also gentle and we do not want the animals to be used for tourist activities," Kosal said. "We want them to live in their natural environment."
According to Angkor Enterprise, which administers the granting of parks, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is subject to a decline in tourist numbers.
The most recent report states that 1.8 million foreign tourists bought passports for the temple complex from January to September, a decrease of 13.7% compared to the same ten-month period of 2018.
It is not clear whether Cambodia's ban on Angkor elephants exists Rides will affect visitor numbers. At a time when more and more travelers and tourism organizations around the world are moving away to eliminate animal-related attractions, they announced they would not sell tickets to places where whales or dolphins are bred in captivity, such as the SeaWorld theme park in the USA