Emaciated elderly elephant dies after 70 years a slave

Starved 70-year-old elephant Tikiri is forced to work at Kandy Esala Perahera

Tikiris keeper confirmed she died today (Picture: Lek Chailert)

A 70-year-old elephant who was forced to parade through the streets at a religious festival has died, its keeper has confirmed.

The story of Tikiri the elephant outraged animal rights groups all over the world after it emerged her emaciated body was being hidden by a colourful costume.

More disturbing photos showed her collapsed on the ground after the annual Esala Perahera, a Buddhist festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

She was one of around 60 elephants that marched for days on end so tourists and locals can feel blessed.

Following an outcry by activists Tikiri was returned to her keeper in Rambukkana, a village close to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

But it appears the ordeal had taken too much of a toll on her health.

Tikiris keeper told Yes, she died this afternoon.

Starved 70-year-old elephant Tikiri is forced to work at Kandy Esala Perahera

Her starved body and leg shackles are hidden by a colourful costume for the Esala Perahera in Kandy, Sri Lanka (Picture: Lek Chailert)

Tikiri exclusive Picture showing emaciated elephant Tikiri collapsed

Tikiri collapsed from exhaustion

A vet from the hospital is coming tomorrow to investigate and do a post-mortem.



A source said the poor girl spent her life as a slave, adding: We have been fighting for her and there was hope, but now this.

Its just terrible.

Earlier this month, Lek Chailert, who founded the Save Elephant Foundation in northern Thailand, shared photos of Tikiri after she was sent back to her owner.

The activist asked why Tikiris legs were still being chained together.

She wrote: She is sick. She is old. She is weak. Why is she still tied both legs front and back? Surely she deserves better. Is it fear of her from a lifetime of abuse?

Is there no emotional reciprocity, having spent a lifetime with her?

Starved 70-year-old elephant Tikiri is forced to work at Kandy Esala Perahera

A Buddhist temple claimed the 70-year-old elephant suffered from a digestive ailment (Picture: Lek Chailert)

Sri Lankan elephant Tikiri, 70, stands at the Temple of the Tooth in the central city of Kandy, where she was brought to attend an annual Buddhust pageant, on August 14, 2019. - After a social media firestorm over using a feeble emaciated animal in the parade, the authorities withdrew her from the festival allowing her rest and medication. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI / AFP)LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images

Officers watched on as a keeper poked Tikiri with a stick (Picture: AFP/Getty)

The bond between mahout [keeper] and elephant is vigorously defended.

The bond is clear. I see the bonds. If you love animals, truly, open your eyes, your mind, your heart, to their suffering.

A spokesperson for the Sacred Tooth Relic, a Buddhist temple that organises the festival, claimed TikRead More – Source

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