A Festival Costume Hides The Emaciated and Starved Body of Elephant Who Has Now Collapsed
5Horrific images on social media
Chailert shared the images first on Facebook explaining “This is Tikiri, a 70-year-old ailing female. She is one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka this year. “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.”No one sees the tears in her eyes, injured by the bright lights that decorate her mask; no one sees her difficulty to step as her legs are short-shackled while she walks.
Echoing the same thoughts, Chailert went on to explain “For a ceremony, all have the right to belief as long as that belief does not disturb or harm another.”How can we call this a blessing, or something holy, if we make other lives to suffer [sic]?”
6The foundation is asking people to write to the prime minister
The foundation has also urged people to write to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to intervene and end the ordeal being faced by Tikiri. The foundation also said that they need the continued support of all who were concerned about the plight of Tikiri. “We need your continued support and your voice to stop the abuse and slavery of these majestic giants. Let’s use World Elephant Day to be the voice for the voiceless.”
7A heartfelt post on World Elephant Day
The foundation chose the World Elephant Day to post the heartfelt message showing that even when there was a day to commemorate the elephant, another contrasting story is unfolding in places around the world that displays extreme cruelty to elephants. Chailert says that the elephants are short shackled every night just so that they are forced to walk slower in the noisy parade. Chailert runs the Save the Elephant Foundation who rescues and rehabilitates elephants in Thailand. She said that no one sees the tears’ in Tikiri’s eyes”. So much for religion and world Elephant day.
8She joins a parade every night amidst chaos
Chailert explained how Tikiri was made to join the parade every evening and worked till late at night for ten nights in a row. She was made to parade amidst nose, fireworks, smoke and chaos. She walked several kilometers every night just so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony. That is the irony of it all. No one can see the bony emaciated body beneath the festival drapery, no one sees the tears in her eyes that are almost blinded by the bright lights which form part of her mask and no one even notices the shackles on her legs meant to make her walk slower.’