The malnourished elephant
These photos showing a 70-year-old emaciated elephant who walked long distances chained while performing at a festival in Sri Lanka has caused outrage on social media.
According to BBC News, the photos were shared on Facebook on Tuesday by a Thailand-based advocacy group that provides assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations, the Save Elephant Foundation (SEF).
In the heartbreaking photos shared by the foundation on its official page, Tikiri appears to be malnourished, with the shape her bones and her ribcage showing evidently.
According to the foundation, “Tikiri walks for miles every night so people can enjoy the festival. Nobody can see thin bodies with visible bones or weak conditions because their bodies are covered with robes.”
“Nobody saw his eyes watering from the lights and because of the accessories that closed his eyes, no one saw him having difficulty walking because the elephant’s legs were also chained while walking,” it added, referring to the annual Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka.
In reaction to the photos, many expressed anger and sadness after seeing the fate of poor Tikiri. Many users also initiated a petition to help Tikiri.
“Seeing these beautiful creatures being treated and used in this disgusting way shows that humans feel very superior. This must be stopped and I will write to the Sri Lankan government,” a user said.