Colombo: An emaciated 70-year-old elephant that caused a social media outcry after being forced to take part in an annual Buddhist pageant in Sri Lanka has died, officials said Wednesday.
The government has ordered an autopsy for Tikiri, a domesticated Asian elephant that died Tuesday night in Kegalle, 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of the capital Colombo, a wildlife department official said. Elephant expert Jayantha Jayewardene said the jumbo had been ill-treated.
"Tikiri was severely undernourished," Jayewardene told AFP. "It is a wonder that she lived this long." The animal was withdrawn from the finale of the annual Temple of the Tooth pageant in Kandy last month after a social media firestorm erupted against parading the feeble animal.