logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
star Bookmark: Tag Tag Tag Tag Tag
Great Britain

Emaciated elephant Tikiri lies on ground ‘on verge of death’ in harrowing new pic amid growing calls to save her

AT DEATH'S DOOR

A HARROWING new picture of the old and fragile-looking elephant being "tortured" by her owners in Sri Lanka has been revealed.

Broken by torment, Tikiri the 70-year-old elephant looks close to death as she lies on the ground surrounding by people unable to help her.

The elephant is so skinny that her bones show through her skin - including her spine.

Tikiri is shackled every night while joining a parade at the Perahera Festival, one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals featuring fire-breathers, dancers and lavishly decorated elephants.

Concerns for the animal's welfare have increased after the reality of her life was brought to light by Save Elephant Foundation (sic).

Posting the images on Facebook, the charity explained: "This is Tikiri, a 70-year-old ailing female.

"She is one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka this year.

No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume

Save Elephant Foundation

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

"She walks many kilometres 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.

"For a ceremony, all have the right to belief as long as that belief does not disturb or harm another.

"How can we call this a blessing, or something holy, if we make other lives to suffer [sic]?"

Amid the outcry, John Amaratunga, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Tourism, said he had instructed vets to visit Tikiri immediately.

He said: "I have been informed the elephant had collapsed.

"I sincerely hope that the elephant will recover soon.

"Considering what has transpired, I have ordered officials to initiate an inquiry into this matter to ascertain how and why an elephant in such poor health was used in the perahera [pageant] and to take necessary action against those responsible."

POOR ANIMAL

It is said that Tikiri works at the Tooth temple in Kandy city and is in constant service for the temple ceremony, in which she is draped in colourful costume, covering her emaciated frame.

The elephant foundation has urged people to write to Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to "end this cruelty".

It added: "We need your continued support and your voice to stop the abuse and slavery of these majestic giants."

Photos of Tikiri prompted Linda Sheen to comment: “To have this beautiful creature treated and used in such a despicable way shows that humans really do think they are the superior race.”

Krista Lodahl agreed, saying: “How heartbreaking. I can’t believe they do this to her she is so old, skinny and fragile.

“She needs love and rest desperately I pray she can get released this is torture.”

A petition calling for Tikiiri to get medical care has more than 17,800 signatures.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

All rights and copyright belongs to author:
Themes
ICO