Tikiri the elephant, whose skeletal body shocked the world, has died

Tikiri the elephant, whose skeletal body shocked the world, has died

Earlier this year, the world was horrified by the condition of Tikiri the circus elephant, whose skeletal body was hidden by an elaborate costume.

Now, the foundation which exposed her plight has revealed that she has passed away.

An emancipated elephant. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation

News of the 70-year-old elephant's situation was broken by the Save Elephant Foundation (SEF), who revealed that she was forced to march in the Perahera festival in Kandy every year.

Afterward, because of the outrage caused, the Sri Lankan government removed Tikiri from performing, returning her to her keeper.

In the heartbreaking video below, a baby elephant is forced to perform cruel tricks: 

But Lek Chailert, founder of SEF, took to Instagram late on Tuesday night to reveal the sad news, writing, "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."

The annual Perahera festival is organized by a Buddhist temple, who said that Tikiri's emancipation was not the result of mistreatment but a "digestive ailment" which prevented her from gaining weight.

The Sacred Tooth Relic spokesman said it had not "affected her strength and abilities".

An elephant in a costume. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation

Regardless, Tikiri was given medical attention after her pictures went viral, but the SEF reported that her condition "remained the same."

Earlier this month, the foundation posted: "Tikiri was taken away and remains isolated. Sadly her future remains somewhat bleak."

In response, PETA wrote that Tikiri's situation was nothing unusual in Sri Lanka where many elephants were enduring "similar or worse treatment in service to an exploitative and abusive tourism industry".