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RIP ‘Gaja Muthassi’: After a lifetime of pain and suffering, oldest elephant in captivity has died aged 88

Wildlife experts say some 15,000 Asian elephants, or nearly one in three, live in captivity globally, often in dire conditions. India has 2,454 elephants in captivity.

AFP NEWS: An Asian elephant believed to be the oldest ever in captivity has died aged 88 in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Awarded the title of “Gaja Muthassi” (elephant granny). Dakshayani took part in temple rituals and processions for decades, but breathed her last on Tuesday after becoming reluctant to eat, her veterinary surgeon said… “For the past three years she did not take part in any temple programme or public function,” T. Rajeev said. “And a couple of months back, we had even moved her to a better tethering place at an elephant farm in Thiruvananthapuram.”

Wildlife conservationists such as P.S. Easa have criticised the practice of keeping elephants in captivity, regardless of their conditions. He said all such animals should be released to their natural habitat, adding that bestowing titles on elephants did nothing for their well-being. “All they want, or for that matter, any animal would want, is to be in their natural habitat and have enough space to move around and sufficient food to eat,” he said. Wildlife experts say some 15,000 Asian elephants — or nearly one in three — live in captivity globally, often in dire conditions. India has 2,454 elephants in captivity, a survey released last month said’. SOURCE…

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