Elephant Dies Of Exhaustion In Sri Lanka After Consecutive Tourist Rides In Extreme Heat
November 12th, 2019 / 4:25 PM
Image Credit: kannada.news18
In a heart-wrenching incident, an 18-year-old elephant in Sri Lanka’s Sigiriya died of exhaustion after giving three consecutive rides to tourists. A day before its death, the elephant was also made to walk in a parade.
For the past four years, the male Asian elephant had reportedly carried visitors on $30 tours. Following the incident, animal welfare activists have been urging authorities to take action and bring about policy changes.
“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,” Paul Healy of animal rights group Moving Animals told Daily Mirror.
“Sri Lankan activists and animal lovers have been campaigning tirelessly to enact this animal welfare bill that will finally change the laws and offer animals the protection they so desperately need,” he added.
“We urge tourists never to 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,” Healy said.
However, an investigation has been launched to determine the exact cause of death.
Several animal lovers took to Twitter to condemn the incident.
SIGN-Justice4Kanakota-Eleph't Who Died of Exhaustion..Giv'g Tourist Rides
A young eleph't named Kanakota..worked2death in SigiryaSriLanka..his captors forced him2give tourists rides in..scorch'g heat..https://t.co/QOyxfcJAhD pic.twitter.com/2Rt6vaPz8z
— NoAnimalPoaching! (@NoAnimalPoachin) November 9, 2019
Saddled for his fourth painful ride of the day, Kanakota lay down — he never got back up. https://t.co/kPuFz3dAYe
— nzherald (@nzherald) November 3, 2019
There lies Kanakota, the 18-year-old #elephant was worked to the bone till he took his last breath and then died suddenly from exhaustion under the hot #SriLankan sun. Tragic pictures of his lifeless body roasting under a plastic tarp were posted online. https://t.co/aVK028fIZA
— Andrea Sreiber (@Suomigirl987) November 6, 2019
Reportedly, Kanakota as been carrying tourists in extreme heat with a “painful” seat on his back. A petition called “Justice for Kanakota. The Elephant That Was Worked to Death” has received over 1,000 signatures.
For over a century, Sri Lanka’s animal welfare laws have not been updated. Those found guilty of cruelty towards animals are fined an amount of about a mere Rs 100. For over three years now, government officials are being urged by activists to update policies with the passage of the Animal Welfare Bill.
Written by : Sumanti Sen
Edited by : Shweta Kothari