Performing elephant whose pictures shocked the world dies aged 70

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Tikiri the elephant has died months after shocking photos of her emerged (Save Elephant Foundation)

An elephant whose gaunt and skeletal body shocked the world earlier this year has died at the age of 70.

Tikiri was one of 60 elephants who was forced to perform at the Perahera festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka every year.

Shocking photos of her body went viral in August, leading to the mistreated animal being pulled from any more marches.

However, despite being returned to her keep, Tikiri died on Tuesday evening, the Save Elephant Foundation (SEF) confirmed.

The organisation said: ”Tikiri's suffering has ended, her soul is now free. No more harm can come to her.

"RIP dear Tikiri. Never look back to this world so cruel toward you and your friends.”

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It had been claimed by Buddhist temple Sacred Tooth Relic - that organises the Perahera festival - that Tikiri suffered from a “digestive ailment”, which was blamed for her frail condition.

They added that the condition had not "affected her strength and abilities”.

The elephant was pictured looking unhealthy and emaciated (Save Elephant Foundation)

SEF said earlier this month that Tikiri’s future “remains somewhat bleak” after she was placed in isolation.

Animal rights group PETA have called for stronger enforcement of animal-protection laws, urging tourists to boycott anywhere that offered rides with alphabets or used them in performances.

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