The final agonising hours of an elephant’s life in captivity is capture in this shocking footage.
Laxmi, a 30-year-old elephant, was beaten and starved to death by her cruel owners in India.
She was poached from the wild as a calf and separated from her mother and herd.
Laxmi was chained and tortured for years and sold into the illegal elephant trafficking industry.
Years of abuse and undernourishment left her body fragile and severely weakened. Her bones became brittle.
Skin sagged over her bony frame and her legs caved inward, no longer able to support the weight of her body.
And yet, in the small and dank room that was Laxmi’s prison, her owners attacked her with sharp spears, bull-hooks, and sticks to force her to move so they could earn profit from her dying and fragile body.
After her death, her carcass lay chained and shackled in Motihari, Bihar, surrounded by urine and dung in a space that was not cleaned for months.
Laxmi, the 30-year-old female elephant, had been beaten and starved since she was taken into captivity as a calf
The neglect that cost Laxmi her life is not uncommon in India.
Animal welfare organisation Wildlife SOS informed the Forest Department and when a team of forest officers arrived, the owners of the elephant had disappeared.
Kartick Satyanaryan said: ‘We were extremely alarmed to learn of her condition, and we scrambled to get our elephant veterinarian on a plane to Bihar to try and save Laxmi.
‘But she’d finally given in to the agony and passed away. Wildlife SOS is determined to bring justice to Laxmi and all those elephants suffering such atrocities.
Dr Yaduraj Khadpekar said: ‘Though she had been relatively young, Laxmi was weak and her bones already brittle. The local veterinarians ascribed it to a degenerative skeletal or metabolic disorder, likely the result of extreme malnourishment.
Founder of Wildlife SOS, Geeta Seshamani said: ‘It breaks our hearts to know we could not reach Laxmi in time, but we believe that she deserves justice even if she never saw a single day of freedom.
‘Such illegal trafficking, neglect, and severe abuse of elephants is intolerable, and a precedent must be set.’