Due to COVID-19 and the obvious decrease in tourism, Thailand is struggling to keep their captive elephants fed and many are facing starvation.
Without the tourists visiting and feeding the elephants, many camps are running short of food and cannot afford to pay out both their workers and the 50,000 baht ($2,200 CAD) per day to feed their 75 elephants. Read more on this here.
Once happy elephants are now seen "visibly distressed, rocking their heads back and forth". This leads to a fear that the elephants could be sold to zoos or shifted into the illegal logging trade as the COVID-19 declines visitor numbers even more. Read more here.
On a brighter note, because of these captive elephant camps being closed down to tourists at this time, they have removed the large metal and wooden seats that are normally strapped to elephants backs everyday. For some, this is the first time in 44 years the elephants will go without wearing these carriages through the day... and they intend to keep it that way even after operations open again. - "Instead, they want the animals to roam freely throughout the campgrounds, where visitors can feed them bananas or just watch them in their natural habitat." Read more about this here.