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Elephant Whose Skeletal State Sparked Outrage Has Died

An elderly elephant in Sri Lanka, whose emaciated frame shocked and outraged people around the world has died, aged 70.

Tikiri was among dozens of elephants who were dressed up and forced to march at the 10-day-long  Esala Perahera festival in Kandy each year.

She made headlines in August after the Save The Elephant Foundation shared images of the malnourished animal to raise awareness of the exploitation of elephants in captivity.

"Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights, amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke," the animal rights group wrote on Facebook.

Photo: Save The Elephant Foundation

"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," they said.

In the wake of the outrage, festival organisers pulled Tikiri from this year's closing parade and returned her to her owner in the village of Rambukkana in early September.

Days later, Tikiri died.

"The sad news is just out tonight that Tikiri passed away this evening," Save The Elephant Foundation announced.

"What we wished for Tikiri, even a few days of freedom with love and care, we will demand for others.

"Tikiri's suffering has ended, her soul is now free. No more harm can come to her.

"RIP dear Tikiri. Never look back to this world so cruel toward you and your friends," the post concluded.

Rest in peace, Tikiri.