Teenage Elephant Collapses, Dies from “Exhaustion” While Carrying Tourists in Sri Lanka

An image of Kanakota the elephant, who reportedly died in Sri Lanka last month due to “exhaustion” from being overworked. (Moving Animals)

A teenage elephant named Kanakota reportedly died from exhaustion recently after giving three consecutive tour rides in Sri Lanka. Now, animal welfare activists are rallying around the 18-year-old creature’s “entirely preventable” passing as a call to action for policy change.

Last month, Kanakota the elephant collapsed and died from “exhaustion” in the town of Sigiriya after giving three tourist rides and walking in a parade the day prior, Metro reports.

The young, male Asian elephant had reportedly carried visitors on $30 tours for the last four years, and apparently had enough on Oct. 16. That Wednesday, Kanakota allegedly stopped in his tracks during his third tour, and refused to move. Tour leaders ushered the elephant’s passenger out of the seat on the creature’s back, as Kanakota laid down – and never woke up.

Heartbreaking images of the scene captured shocked locals gathering around the young elephant after his passing, covering him in blankets.

“This young elephant’s tragic and cruel death was entirely preventable. Until tourists refuse to ride elephants, more of these gentle giants will continue to suffer and collapse from exhaustion,” Paul Healy of animal rights group Moving Animals told Daily Mirror.

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SOURCE: Fox News, Janine Puhak