India – Asian elephant dies at age 88, a record for longevity


Dakshayani, an Asian elephant in captivity died at the 88-year-old age in the Indian state of Kerala (south), the pachyderm owners reported on Thursday.

Decorated with the honorary title of “Gaja Muthassi” (“elephant grandmother”), Dakshayani, an elephant from Asia , has participated for decades in the rituals and processions of a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala, a tropical region from India . She passed away on Tuesday, February 5, after refusing to eat, said her veterinarian T. Rajeev.

“Around 3 pm, a sudden shiver ran through his big body from the head. After a few minutes, she flexed her front legs and lay down. It was over, ” testified T. Rajeev. The Travancore Devaswom Board, the organization that owns the pachyderm, said the elephant was 88 years old.

Pineapple and carrots in her diet

The average lifetime of an Asian elephant is 60 years, usually less for those living in captivity. The oldest captive elephant listed by the Guinness Book of Records lived to the age of 86 and was an Asian elephant who died in 2003 in a zoo in Taiwan.

Dakshayani’s veterinarians had introduced pineapples and carrots into her diet in recent years to improve her health after she began to have movements difficul, probably due to a decline in her vision. “For the past three years, she has not participated in any temple program or public event , ” Rajeev said.

2,454 elephants in captivity in India

The Asian Elephant is considered an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. According to the experts, 15,000 of them – a third of their remaining population – live in captivity or sometimes in appalling conditions. India has 2,454 elephants in captivity, according to a count released in January.


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Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

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