Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga has ordered an inquiry into the use of an elderly and sick elephant for the Kandy pageant (perahera).
Amaratunga said that he had been informed the elephant had collapsed yesterday.
The 70-year-old elephant named Tikiri had been withdrawn from the main annual pageant in Kandy following a huge outcry over social media on parading the feeble animal.
Amaratunga said that he has instructed his officials to inspect the condition of the elephant and recommend remedial measures.
He also said that he has instructed that action be taken against those responsible for using the elephant in the pageant despite its poor health.
“We must take every possible step to ensure an incident of this nature does not occur again,” the Minister said in a statement today.
Amaratunga said that he has also appointed a committee to look into the health of all elephants in captivity and to submit a report to him.
He also said that guidelines will be issued for owners of elephants in captivity so that the health of elephants in captivity can be ensured. (Colombo Gazette)