Tikiiri was withdrawn from the parade after a Facebook post went viral.
Sri Lanka – The owner of a 70-year-old Asian elephant has pulled it from a Buddhist parade in Sri Lanka, after photos of the emaciated animal stirred outrage and anger online.
Global News has just reported that the Elephant will not be in this parade and various news outlets are saying that organisations are also working on sending her to retirement at a free-roaming sanctuary once she has been treated for her medical conditions.
The Facebook post which went viral was created by the “Save Elephant Foundation” and described the torment of the elderly 70-year-old elephant.
Read the full post below:
“This is Tikiiri, a 70-year-old ailing female. She is one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka this year. Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights, amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke. She walks many kilometres every night so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony. No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition because of her costume. 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.
For a ceremony, all have the right to believe as long as that belief does not disturb or harm another. How can we call this a blessing, or something holy, if we make other lives to suffer?
Today is World Elephant Day. We cannot bring a peaceful world to the elephant if we still think that this image is acceptable.
To love, to do no harm, to follow a path of kindness and compassion, this is the Way of Buddha. It is time to follow.”
The post went viral globally, causing many to voice their disgust of the animal abuse.
Tikiiri’s owner has removed her from the festival’s grand finale amid the backlash, according to Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the chief custodian of the Temple of the Tooth. The finale typically involves several elephants.
“Tikiiri is being treated,” Dela told AFP on Tuesday. He said the elephant has a “medical condition” that the owner plans to address. Various organisations are also working on sending her to retirement at a free-roaming sanctuary once she is better.
The below photo shows the current state of the Elephant.
We have reached out to AFP for an update on Tikiiri’s condition and will post any news here.