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Emaciated 70-year-old elephant spared Sri Lanka parade after outcry

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A skeletal 70-year-old elephant has been withdrawn from a high-profile annual Buddhist pageant in Sri Lanka following a social media firestorm in opposition to parading the feeble animal.

The chief custodian of the Temple of the Tooth — which organizes the occasion — Pradeep Nilanga Dela mentioned Tikiri wouldn’t be a part of Wednesday’s grand finale, involving dozens of jumbos.

Dela mentioned the elephant’s “medical condition” meant her house owners instructed him she wouldn’t be a part of Kandy metropolis’s parade and instructed AFP by phone, “Tikiri is being treated.”

Animal-lovers lambasted the authorities for forcing the aged animal to parade a number of kilometers (miles) carrying elaborate clothes on the massively in style evening pageant.

Asian elephant professional Jayantha Jayewardene described the animal’s remedy as inhumane.

“Obviously the animal is severely under-nourished, it is close to death”, Jayewardene instructed AFP.

“Owners parade their elephants to gain merit for themselves and not for the animal. This should never have been allowed,” he mentioned, including he was relieved she wouldn’t be paraded.

Lek Chailert, the founding father of the Save Elephant Basis, mentioned on social media that spectators don’t realise how weak Tikiri was as a result of she was coated in an elaborate costume.

“No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume,” Chailert mentioned. “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.”

The Temple of the Tooth, Buddhism’s holiest shrine on the island, holds the annual pageant with conventional drummers and dancers in addition to practically 100 tamed elephants.

Many wealthy Sri Lankans maintain elephants as pets, however there have been quite a few complaints of ailing remedy and cruelty.

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