Elephant Dies Carrying Tourists On Safari In Sri Lanka
Devastating footage has been released showing an elephant which had died after reportedly being forced to carry tourists on safari in Sri Lanka.
Shocking images of the deceased animal have been shared in the hope it will see action taken to protect wildlife in Asia.
Animal rights activists say the photographs show the kinds of abuse innocent animals are forced to endure as part of the tourist trade.
In the heartbreaking video, the 18-year-old elephant can be seen being covered in a green blanket as a group of distressed locals look on in despair in Sigiriya.
According to reports, it's believed the animal had been carrying three groups of tourists on the day he passed away, and had taken part in a parade a day earlier.
Unable to carry on with the back-breaking work, he died on 18 October.
Welfare campaigners have now called for new laws to be brought in to protect animals from abuse.
Currently, those who are found to have abused animals face a fine of just 50p for the suffering they have inflicted.
Speaking about the shocking death, Paul Healey, from Moving Animals, said: "This young elephant's tragic and cruel death was entirely preventable.
"Until tourists refuse to ride elephants, more of these gentle giants will continue to suffer and collapse from exhaustion."
"We urge tourists to never ride an elephant, and call on the Sri Lankan government to instate a new Animal Welfare Bill that will finally offer protection to the country's amazing array of animals and wildlife."
It's understood that an investigation has now been launched into the elephant's death.
But sadly, stories such as this one are not uncommon. Earlier this year, a seemingly innocent video has surfaced showing an elephant at a Thai nursery colouring in a self-portrait.
However, as the clip continues, you can see the animal is wearing a huge chain around its neck.
The video was filmed on National Elephant Day, which has been around since 1998.
Millions of people flock to Thailand every year, with some keen to get that picture of themselves either on top of, or at least close to an elephant - however, they are often oblivious to the dark truth.
Maria Mossman, founder of non-profit group Action for Elephants UK, told the Guardian: "Many parks advertise themselves as sanctuaries but they are not.
"Never go to a park that advertises shows, unnatural behaviour, tricks or painting - and please, never ride an elephant."
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