A baby elephant in Thailand has died after his back legs snapped performing tricks for tourists at a zoo.
Last month, sickening footage of a distressed baby elephant being “forced to rave” for the amusements of tourists went viral.
The “skeletal” calf in the video was growing weaker every day as it was forced to dance and perform tricks — until April 13, when the animal’s two back legs snapped.
The baby elephant’s legs were broken for three days before he was taken to hospital to be treated, and he died just one week later on April 20.
Campaign group Moving Animals, who filmed the video that went viral, named the baby elephant “Dumbo” when it started a petition to have him released.
A tragic and horrific end
The group’s petition garnered over 200,000 signatures in just one week, with many people outraged that the animal could be made to perform in such poor health.
Amy Jones, co-founder of Moving Animals, said: “This is a tragic and horrific end to Dumbo’s heartbreakingly-short life.”
“His skeletal body clearly suggested that he was unwell and could be suffering from malnourishment and exhaustion. And yet the zoo did nothing until receiving international criticism.
“Under their care, this baby elephant broke both of his back legs, and the zoo did not even realize for three days. I can’t bring myself to imagine Dumbo’s suffering during this time.”
Jones added that for Dumbo to die while under the so-called “care” and “treatment” of the zoo shows just how neglected these animals are in captivity.
The baby elephant broke his back legs when his front legs became stuck in a puddle of mud.
He was attempting to hold himself up with just his back legs on dry ground, but both legs were so weak that they snapped.
And Phuket Zoo, which housed the animal, is free to “acquire” another baby elephant if it chooses to do so.
“Dumbo” was obviously ill in the footage that went viral last month. After he was hospitalized, a vet revealed that he had had an infection in his digestive tract for months.
The vet told local newspapers: “He had an infection that resulted in constant diarrhea, which caused other health complications, including the fact that his body was not absorbing nutrients as it should, which made him very weak.”
Moving Animals is urging tourists never to pay to see animals in captivity.
“No animal deserves to repeat Dumbo’s tragic story,” Jones said.