Skeletal elephant dies in Sri Lanka weeks after parade outcry

A 70-year-old Sri Lankan elephant named Tikiri, whose emaciated state prompted an outcry in August after she was made to march in a Buddhist parade and collapsed, sparking an investigation by wildlife authorities, has died. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2019

Skeletal elephant dies in Sri Lanka weeks after parade outcry

  • Elephant expert Jayantha Jayewardene said the jumbo had been ill-treated
  • The animal was withdrawn from the finale of the annual Temple of the Tooth pageant in Kandy last month

COLOMBO: An emaciated 70-year-old elephant that caused a social media outcry after being forced to take part in an annual Buddhist pageant in Sri Lanka has died, officials said Wednesday.
The government has ordered an autopsy for Tikiri, a domesticated Asian elephant that died Tuesday night in Kegalle, 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the capital Colombo, a wildlife department official said.
Elephant expert Jayantha Jayewardene said the jumbo had been ill-treated.
“Tikiri was severely undernourished,” Jayewardene told AFP. “It is a wonder that she lived this long.”
The animal was withdrawn from the finale of the annual Temple of the Tooth pageant in Kandy last month after a social media firestorm erupted against parading the feeble animal.
Animal lovers lambasted authorities for forcing the aged beast to parade several kilometers wearing elaborate attire at the hugely popular night festival.
Lek Chailert, the founder of the Save Elephant Foundation, wrote on social media that spectators did not realize how weak Tikiri was because of her costume.
After the public outcry, Wildlife Minister John Amaratunga ordered an investigation into why Tikiri was made to participate in the annual parade despite her failing health, but the outcome was not made known.
The Temple of the Tooth, Buddhism’s holiest shrine on the island, holds the annual festival with traditional drummers and dancers as well as nearly 100 elephants.
Many rich Sri Lankans keep elephants as pets, but there have been numerous complaints of ill-treatment and cruelty.
Guinness World Records says the average age of an Asian elephant is around 60 years, while the oldest on record was Lin Wang, a bull who carried supplies for the Japanese army in what was then Burma during World War II before dying in a Taiwan zoo in 2003 aged 86.


Heavy rain across Cairo cause chaos as residents use bulldozer to escape floods

A video was circulated over social media showing a bulldozer carrying people to help them get to the other side of the road that was flooded by the rain. (Screenshot)
Updated 23 October 2019

Heavy rain across Cairo cause chaos as residents use bulldozer to escape floods

  • Flooding on roads heading to Cairo’s International Airport caused severe delays for flight passengers
  • Authorities in Cairo deployed several vacuum trucks to clear the roads

DUBAI: Heavy rain hit Cairo on Tuesday resulting in floods across the city, leaving residence stranded.  

A video was circulated over social media showing a bulldozer carrying people to help them get to the other side of the road that was flooded by the rain.

 

Scenes of large pools of water were spread among Cairo’s districts including Heliopolis, Nasr city and Salah Salem.

Pictures of people swimming in the puddles were shared on social media. Other images showed floating boxed packages while others pretended to fish in the streams of water gushing down the streets.

 

The weather also caused flight delays, and heavy traffic across the city’s busiest roads, Egypt local press reported.

Flooding on roads heading to Cairo’s International Airport caused severe delays for flight passengers.

In response to the weather conditions, EgyptAir delayed departure time for flights until the maximum number of passengers arrive at the airport.

“The airline has decided to delay the departure of some flights due to the heavy rains, until the arrival of the maximum amount of passengers booked for these flights, to preserve the rights of our customers,” EgyptAir said in a statement.

The flood caused Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to give schools and universities in Cairo a day off on Wednesday, as more rain is expected.

In response to the prime minister’s announcement, Egyptian influencer and university student, Mohamed Tarek, shared a video on Facebook expressing his joy after hearing the news.

Authorities in Cairo deployed several vacuum trucks to clear the roads.

The Egyptian Meteorological Authority had sent out weather warnings earlier this week, with expectations of weather disruptions across the country from Monday to Friday.