Video of keeper mercilessly whipping elephant in temple sparks outrage
A video showing a keeper brutally whipping a chained elephant, who was accused of killing a senior monk in 2018, at the Buddhist Bellanwila Temple in Sri Lanka sparked outrage.
The legs of 15-year-elephant, known as Myan Prince, chained up to trees and lying in a pool reportedly inside the temple in Colombo where the helpless animal starts crying in pain and tries to grab chains with his trunk while being beaten up by the keeper.
WARNING: Graphic video
According to Daily Mail UK, the elephant was blamed for killing an elderly monk at the temple. He allegedly pushed Wimalarathana Thero, 77, to the ground during his breakfast feeding.
However, Bellanwila Temple denied the local reports and claimed the senior monk fell and suffered a heart attack.
Maneesha Arachchige, an activist from Rally for Animal Rights and Environment, said she is concerned about Myan Prince as he appears to be ‘beaten on a regular basis’.
She told the Metro: ‘If action is not taken quickly we fear for the safety of those around the elephant as well as Myan Prince’s safety and wellbeing.’
STOP to cruelty to animals in Sri Lanka wrote on Facebook: ‘Shame on Sri Lanka’s Buddhist teachers and communities for not speaking up and instead promoting the captivity of elephants.’
More than 125,000 people have signed a petition to release the elephant back into the wild..
It comes as figures show a record number of elephants have died in Sri Lanka during 2019. A total of 361 have died since Sri Lanka became independent in 1948, according to conservationists. Seven were found dead after being allegedly poisoned by local residents for destroying crops.
Almost 85 per cent died as a result of human activity, says the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform.