This Elephant Died From Exhaustion After Being Forced To Carry Tourists In Extreme Heat

Andrea A.
29/4/2016

On April 22, a female elephant called Samba died from a heart attack after carrying tourists around Angkor Vat, Cambodia, in the extreme heat. Aged about 40-45 years old, the poor, enslaved animal had been forced to carry tourists on her back for decades.

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Forced to work in 40°C heat

On the day of her death,Sambo had to make two40-minute journeys with tourists on her back in the soaring heat.It happened in the town ofSiem Reap, often visited by tourists eager to visit the sacred archeological sites whilstriding on an elephant.A vet confirmed that she died from a heart attack"due to high temperatures, heat exhaustion and lack of wind that would have helped to cool her,", theDaily Mailreports.

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Sambo was one of the 13 captive elephants at theAngkor Elephant Company, the largest elephant-riding company in Cambodia."We're all very sad to have lost her", saidOan Kiri, the manager of the company who first employed the female elephant in 2001.

The horrific exploitation of elephants in Asia

(Warning : some images may be disturbing) Sambo's tragic death has shed light on the horrific working conditions in which these elephants are bred and forced to carry hundreds of tourists on their backs eachyear in Asia.

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So that the elephants put up with their life of misery, these beautiful and endangered creaturesare put through the cruel and inhumane training process called "crushing".The aim of the brutaltraining method is to cause the elephant to come to psychological breaking point, so that they eventually obey their trainers in the blink of an eye, exhausted by their torments.

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Elephants are tied up to trees, with ropes fastened around their trunk, neck and each of their feet…Once they are completely immobilised,they are then starved for a few days and regularlywhipped so that they can never get a moment'srest.

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Already 74,000 signatures to ban elephants rides at Angkor Vat

SinceSambo's tragic death,many animal activistshave been raising their voices to put an end to this horrific business.Within a few days, a petition launched onChange.orghas already received74,000 signatures. You can sign it here.