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Photos of a starving elephant have sparked public outcry, forcing its owner to pull it out of a religious parade in Sri Lanka.
The 70-year-old elephant, Tikiri, was planned to join a march in a 10-day festival called the Esala Perahera, run by the Temple of the Tooth in Sri Lanka.
Pictures of the malnourished animal were shared on Facebook by the Save Elephant Foundation, showing the creature looking frail, with her ribs and other bones protruding from her skin.
In one photo, Tikiri is covered with a colorful costume and accessories, perhaps to conceal the horrifying truth underneath.
Lek Chailert, founder of The Save Elephant Foundation and a self-proclaimed “elephant whisperer,” explains that the elephant was made to work from evening to the wee hours for 10 days straight, and was exposed to noise, fireworks and smoke.
She hopes the photos will reach Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to end the misery of Tikiri and other elephants.
Many social media users have also taken to Facebook to condemn the organizers of the festival, questioning the lack of welfare of the animals.
Due to the backlash, Tikiri has now been withdrawn from the festival, according to Pradeep Nilanga Dela, chief of the Temple of the Tooth. Dela explains that Tikiri is currently being treated and her owner has been questioned for the “severely undernourished” elephant.
This is Tikiiri, a 70 year old ailing female. She is one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the…
Tikiri situation. Please pray for her. It is too tiring for her to walk and work. On the day we met her the vet said…Visit Website