A 70-year-old ailing elephant was spared from participating in an annual Buddhist pageant in Srilanka after social media was flooded with posts against the parading of the malnourished animal. As per reports, Tikiri is one of sixty elephants who is being forced to work for ten consecutive days during the festival, while being covered in colorful costumes to prevent people from seeing her emaciated body.
The event that involves a dozen elephants will not see Tikiri as a part of it as the Chief custodian of the festival has confirmed to a media publication, that the feeble animal is being looked after and is currently under supervision.
Meanwhile, social media is full of irked animal lovers who slammed the authorities for forcing aged animals to parade thousands of kilometers wearing elaborate and heavy clothing during the night festival.
This is Sad!— Podi Malli (@PodiMalli) August 12, 2019
This is Tikiiri, 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. Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights. pic.twitter.com/CJminiseaL
#Tikiiri, a 70-year-old female #elephant, will work beside 60 elephants for the #PeraheraFestival in #SriLanka this year - despite her frail body and ailing health.— We Are Mozzerians Ⓜ️ (@MozzeriansATW) August 14, 2019
Pics show her emaciated body as it's 'tortured' by owners https://t.co/N5Nwo51nFG via @MailOnline #AnimalCruelty pic.twitter.com/AJPvMVdI3T
Elephant expert Jayantha Jayewardene stated that the act was 'inhumane', and went on to inform that the animal is severely undernourished and is close to death. The event is all set to take place in the Temple of Tooth, which is the holiest shrine on the island. For the festival, there are several traditional drummers, dancers along with 100 tamed elephants for the annual celebration.
Reports suggest that many Sri-Lankan natives keep elephants as pets but they are often subjected to cruelty.