Yet another elephant has died, this time from reportedly carrying tourists on safari, this time in Sigiriya, Central Province, Sri Lanka. Images of the deceased elephant have been shared in an effort to see action from authorities to protect the wildlife in Asia.
Video footage show the elephant, only 18-years-old, being covered in a blanket while a group of distraught locals look on.
Reportedly the elephant is believed to have taken part in a parade the day before and carried three groups of tourists on the day he died. Exhausted from the back-breaking work, he died on 18 October.
Animal welfare campaigners have called for new laws to be brought in to protect animals from abuse. Animal abusers currently face a fine of only 50p, regardless of the suffering they have inflicted on an animal.
In response to the elephant’s death, Paul Healey, from Moving Animals, 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.”
Apparently an investigation into the elephant’s death has been launched.
Unfortunately abuse is the norm, not only when training elephants to perform various tricks, carry people and take part in parades, but continues daily, usually for the rest of their lives.
Thailand is a popular destination for tourists, with millions visiting every year. Sadly, a large number of them visit so called ‘sanctuaries’ with the aim to have photos taken of themselves riding, feeding or just being close to an elephant. Unfortunately this type of tourism encourages this industry to continue the abuse of animals.
Maria Mossman, founder of non-profit group Action for Elephants UK told the Guardian: “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.”
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