DISTRESSING video has emerged of a male elephant collapsing and dying in southern India.
Footage shows the animal shivering as handlers throw buckets of water over over him as he tries to unshackle his chains.
The 37-year-old elephant, named Drona, appears unsteady on his feet as the handlers – known as mahouts – continue to throw water on him.
Eventually the poor elephant’s legs give way and he falls over on his side.
The incident took place on April 26 at the Thithimathi Elephant Camp in Karnataka’s Nagarahole National Park.
Drona had reportedly been showing signs of illness since Friday morning.
His mahout said he suspected the animal died of a heart attack though the full cause of death won’t be known until vets carry out an autopsy.
According local mahouts, the four ton, nine feet tall creature could have been saved with proper medical care.
“On Friday morning, noticing that Drona’s body movements were weak, we even took him to a water reservoir and repeatedly splashed water on him,” one told newsminute.com.
“He was slipping and unable to stand. We repeatedly called the zoo authorities to summon the veterinarian to take a look at him, but medical help did not arrive until he died.”
Another alleged that mandatory health summer checks on elephants have not been carried out which has “worried” him and his colleagues.
Drona won fame in 2017 and 2018 when he carried platform – or golden howdah – in processions to mark the Hindu religious festival of Dasara in the city of Mysuru.
The procession winds for three miles through the city and the 15 decorated elephants and one of its main attractions.
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Drona was reportedly formerly a rogue elephant and was captured for raiding farms by forest officers in 2014 after which he was sent to be tamed.
According to the local mahouts, Drona also aided the forest officials operations to capture tigers menacing villages and also helped capture other rogue elephants.
“Drona was a senior elephant and his presence restored a sense of confidence among the officials, who were out to capture other rogue elephants,” one said.
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