Thiruvananthapuram: The oldest captive elephant ‘Dakshayani’ died aged 88 in the southern Indian state of Kerala, officials said Thursday.
Awarded the title of “Gaja Muthassi” (elephant granny), Dakshayani took part in temple rituals and processions for decades, but breathed her last on Tuesday after it stopped eating, her veterinary surgeon said.
“For the past three years she did not take part in any temple programme or public function,” said Rajeev to the media.
“Pineapples and carrots had been introduced to Dakshayani´s diet in recent years to improve her metabolism after she began to have difficulty moving around, probably due to reduced eyesight”.
“And a couple of months back, we had even moved her to a better tethering place at an elephant farm in Thiruvananthapuram.”
“However, at 3 pm on past Tuesday, a sudden shiver passed through her large frame beginning from the head region. After a few minutes, she bent her forelimbs and lay down. And that was it,” Rajeev told AFP.
As per a survey released last month, India has 2,454 elephants in captivity. However, it is a big debate on letting all the Elephants loose in their natural habitat or the Gajaraja be allowed to keep in a boundary.