At least 17 people were injured at a religious procession in Kotte, Sri Lanka when two elephants ran amok, according to local reports.
Footage captured by a local news outlet showed one of the elephants running down a street. More than a dozen festival-goers were injured after an elephant taking part in a Buddhist pageant in Sri Lanka went on a rampage.
The procession in Kotte, near the country’s capital, began with a government minister placing a sacred relic on a decorated casket atop an elephant adorned with shiny red clothing. But it quickly turned disastrous when the elephant surged forward, sending some of the terrified worshipers straight into another one which then ran amok.
Shocking footage showed a man riding on the elephant’s back narrowly avoid being trampled after he was shaken off as the huge animal heads straight into a crowd.
Officials from two hospitals said 18 injured people were brought in following the stampede, including women and at least two children, and 16 have been discharged.
It remains unknown what actually triggered the elephant (!!!)
It is another elephant-related controversy for Sri Lanka after photos emerged last month showing a starving 70-year-old female forced to don a colourful costume hiding her emaciated body. According to the Save Elephant Foundation, Tikiri was one of 60 elephants forced to work for 10 nights in a row at the Esala Perahera Buddhist festival in Kandy.
The organisation’s founder, Lek Chailert, said in a heartfelt post on World Elephant Day: ‘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.’
And…We are on the side of the weak, the suffering one, the enslaved elephant who has courageously tried to gain his freedom for even a few minutes.
The human “victims” were taken care of immediately, the animal victim is certainly caught again from his slave owners and maybe even punished.
In the daily confrontation with the crimes against animals we need a big portion strong nerves, in order not to run amok too.
Best regards to all, Venus