Disturbing photographs of the helpless elephant have infuriated animal rights groups all over the globe.
A 70-year-old female elephant named Tikiri that was forced to parade through the streets at a religious festival has recently died.
Heartbreaking photos of Tikiri collapsed on the ground have enraged people all over the world after it emerged her emaciated body was hidden by a costume.
The death of the elephant was confirmed by Metro.
Tikiri was a part of 60 elephants that marched through the streets for days on end so people can feel “blessed”.
“Yes, she died this afternoon.
“A vet from the hospital is coming tomorrow to investigation and do a post- mortem,” Tikiri’s keeper told the paper.
In a saddening ode to the elephant’s second life, another 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.
It’s just terrible.”
Earlier in September, founder of the Save The Elephant Foundation in northern Thailand, Lek Chailert, shared pictures of Tikiri.
Alongside them, Lek wondered why Tikiri’s legs still had chains on them.
“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?
The bond between mahout 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.”
According to the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Buddist temple that organizes the festival, Tikiri suffered from a digestive ailment which prevented her from gaining weight.
The temple spokesman told Metro that Tikiri’s owner had “specifically requested” her to take part in the festival as there is an “ancient belief” that religious offering can cure weak animals.
“It is an ancient belief that the performing of Pooja to gods by sick or weak elephants has healing powers.
Hence, given the digestive ailment of Tikiri, her owner specially requested the Diyawadana Nilame of the Vishnu Devala to allow Tikiri to take part in this year’s procession in hope of curing her.
Taking into account the great service performed by Tikiri to the Esala procession, the request was accepted in terms that she is proved to be fit to take the streets after a thorough examination.
Given that Tikiri was proved to be fit, she was allowed to take part in a few processions.”
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