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Starving 70-Year-Old Elephant Collapses From Exhaustion After Sri Lankan Festival

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Starving 70-Year-Old Elephant Collapses From Exhaustion After Sri Lankan Festival

This heartbreaking picture shows a malnourished 70-year-old elephant that had collapsed after being forced to parade for miles every night as part of a Sri Lankan festival.

A Facebook post from Save Elephant Foundation, read: "Please pray for her. It is too tiring for her to walk and work." They added: "Look at this poor old girl who has fallen down and the whole world can see her.

"We can not just let it go silent. Time to stand up and take action to protect the others who still suffer and are waiting for our voice."

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Pictures of the frail animal, called Tikiri, were first highlighted days ago after animal rights groups became outraged when they saw her dressed up in a colourful robe, hiding her emaciated body underneath.

Tikiri was dressed up and forced to parade down the street. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation/Lek Chailert
Tikiri was dressed up and forced to parade down the street. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation/Lek Chailert

It is believed that the animal had to repeat the parade for 10 consecutive nights but pictures that emerged of her collapsed in the street show that she might have given up.

Lek Chailert, the founder of Save Elephant Foundation, says Tikiri is one of around 60 elephants forced to take part in the Esala Perahera, a Buddhist festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

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The charity says the animals are malnourished and shackled. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation/Lek Chailert
The charity says the animals are malnourished and shackled. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation/Lek Chailert

She said: "Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for 10 consecutive nights, amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke.

"She walks many kilometers every night so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony. No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume.

"No one sees the tears in her eyes, injured by the bright lights that decorate her mask, no one sees her difficulty to step as her legs are short shackled while she walks."

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The charity's head said she had no problem with people celebrating their faith, as long as it doesn't interfere with the welfare and happiness of the animals used.

Ms Chailert added: "To love, to do no harm, to follow a path of kindness and compassion, this is the Way of Buddha. It is time to follow."

LADbible contacted the Sacred Tooth Relic, a Buddhist temple that hosts the festival, for a comment. However, a spokesperson for the temple told the Metro that they 'always care about the animals' and claimed Tikiri had been seen by an elephant doctor.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Save Elephant Foundation

Topics: News, Elephant, Animals

Rebecca Shepherd
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