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Dakshayani, Asia’s oldest captive elephant dies at 88


Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 07: Asia's oldest captive elephant and Guinness record holder, 88-year old Dakshayani, died at a care centre at nearby Pappanamcode.

Photo credit: PTI

The female elephant, under the possession of the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple, was the oldest among all captive elephants managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

In 2016, she was conferred the 'Gaja Muthassi' (elephant granny) title and entered the Guinness book of records.

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The postal department had also brought out a postal cover on the elephant.

Dakshayani was much sought after in temple processions and was a constant presence at the 'Arattu' procession of the Padmanabha Swamy temple here until three years ago.

The former Travancore Devaswom Board president told AFP news agency that Dakshayani was well-treated.

"Due to various practical constraints, we could not let her loose, but instead ensured that she had more than enough space to move around," he said. However conservationists say many elephants suffer in poor conditions.

The oldest elephant in captivity recognised by Guinness World Records was aged 86 -- Lin Wang, another elephant which died in 2003 in a Taiwan zoo. Captive elephants have a life expectancy of 40-plus years.

India has 2,454 elephants in captivity, a survey released last month said.

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