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Sri Lanka: 70-year-old elephant Tikiri forced to perform in parades dies

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Colombo, Sep 25: A 70-year-old elephant, who was forced to perform as part of a religious festival in Sri Lanka has died. She was one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka this year.

Image posted on Facebook by Save Elephant Foundation

The Sri Lankan government has ordered the officials to send the elephant's body for the postmortem examination.

"The government has ordered an autopsy for Tikiri, a domesticated Asian elephant that died Tuesday night in Kegalle, 80 km (50 miles) east of the capital Colombo," AFP quoted a wildlife department official as saying.

The story of Tikiri the elephant outraged animal rights groups all over the world after it emerged her emaciated body was being hidden by a colourful costume.

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," read the post that soon went viral.

Following an outcry by activists Tikiri was returned to her keeper in Rambukkana, a village close to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Her ordeal has ended now.

"Please pray for her. It is too tiring for her to walk and work. On the day we met her the vet said she is strong and Ok to walk ???. Some people are blind in their hearts, and care less to others. Look at this poor old girl who has fallen down and the whole world can see her," the post read.

"We can not just let it go silent. Time to stand up and take action to protect the others who still suffer and are waiting for our voice," it added.

Time to END to use animal in every ceremony.

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