A representative for the Save Elephant Foundation shared the tragic update about Tikiri, an elderly elephant who was kept at the Tooth temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka, in a heartbreaking Facebook post.
"There is both sorrow and relief here. To think of her brings such pain to my heart," the message reads. "That hard service was her life, and not freedom, carries for me a commitment to others who yet suffer. That we could not help her before her eyes would shut forever fosters a renewed courage, and bears a responsibility for us to find safe refuges for all of the captive Giants born under the yoke of Man. What we wished for Tikiri, even a few days of freedom with love and care, we will demand for others."
"Tikiri's suffering has ended, her soul is now free. No more harm can come to her," the post ends. "RIP dear Tikiri. Never look back to this world so cruel toward you and your friends."
Tikiri's plight first made headlines after the Save Elephant Foundation shared photos of the emaciated creature on Facebook to mark World Elephant Day and raise awareness on the plight of elephants in captivity around the world.
The animal-rights group said at the time that Tikiri was just one of 60 elephants forced to walk in the yearly parades for 10 straight nights amid noise, smoke and fireworks to celebrate the Perahera Festival, or Festival of the Tooth, meant to pay homage to the sacred tooth relic of Buddha.
"She walks many kilometers every night so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony," the organization wrote in August. "No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume. No one sees the tears in her eyes, injured by the bright lights that decorate her mask, no one sees her difficulty to step as her legs are short shackled while she walks."
The skeletal appearance of the pachyderm sparked anger on Facebook, where many users called for Tikiri, as well as her fellow enslaved elephants, to be rescued and rehabilitated.