A teenage elephant collapsed and died after being forced to give back-to-back tourist rides in Sri Lanka.
The 18 year old elephant, was working on a Safari in the city of Habarana, where the temperatures reach well into the 30s at this time of year and the humidity is relentless.
After days of constant travelling – having been made to do a tiring parade one night followed by three separate tourist rides the following day – Kanakota’s frail body couldn’t take it anymore and he collapsed.
On his fourth consecutive ride, Kanakota could no longer move and his trunk became limp, so the passengers were taken off his back. It’s at this point the young elephant fell to the floor, lifeless, and never woke up.
The elephant was pictured covered in a blanket as distressed locals in Sigiriya, central Sri Lanka looked on after he had lay down and died.
A campaign by animal rights activists Moving Animals aims to put an end to elephant riding across Sri Lanka by shedding a light on the shocking conditions the animals are kept in.
According to animal rights groups, new laws are needed protect elephants with those guilty of abuse fine of just 50p.
An investigation has been launched and while there is no official cause of death, campaigners have said the elephant died from exhaustion but Paul Healey, from Moving Animals, said the elephant’s death was entirely preventable. He 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.”
Some time back a seemingly innocent video had surfaced, showing an elephant at a Thai nursery colouring in a self-portrait.
It appears pretty cute that the massive beast can hold a paintbrush and colour in an outline of itself. But as the video continues, you can see the massive chain around its neck and all of a sudden the clip takes a dark turn.
The video was filmed on National Elephant Day, which has been around since 1998.
When the millions of people flock to Thailand every year, some are keen to get that picture of them either onto top of, or at least close to an elephant.
But researchers have found that this desire to be close to the African giant is ‘fuelling cruelty’. This isn’t to allege that the nursery in the video is guilty of cruelty, but the industry as a whole needs a lot of work.
Maria Mossman, founder of non-profit group Action for Elephants UK told: “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.”
She adds that some parks allow hordes of tourists to film themselves playing with elephants in a watered area.