Thiruvambadi Sivasundar, Kerala’s famous temple elephant passed away on Sunday morning in Thrissur.
The 46-year-old tusker had been undergoing treatment for Fecal impaction, a condition where an animal suffers blockage in the digestive tract.
Known for its majestic beauty and obedience, Sivasundar had been a major attraction at Thrissur’s Poonam festival.
The jumbo had been carrying the idol at Thiruvambadi temple for last 15 years.
The tusker’s death has raised serious questions over lack of care of captive elephants.
Despite illness, sivasundar was forced to participate in festivals in Kottayam, Palakkad and Thrissur districts, Times of India reported.
Environmenalists claim that unscientific diet results in severe indigestion among captive elephants which have become one of the major causes of their death.
“Elephants are grazers and browsers and they usually eat grass and branches and barks of trees, which have high water content. Items like palm and coconut leaves, which are commonly being given to the elephants in Kerala, must be avoided,” Veterinarian Dr T S Rajeev told Times of India.