Observations on the Death of a 70-Year-Old Working Elephant

Observations on the Death of a 70-Year-Old Working Elephant

In late 2014, a working elephant named Laxmi Kali died just a few days after carrying her last load of tourists into the Nepali jungle. She was 70 years old and suffered from malnutrition, tooth loss, and a severe spinal infection caused by carrying the heavy howdah, the seat on which tourists ride.

It’s time to talk about the real cost of elephant safaris for the tourist trade. Most visitors just don’t know how their dollars contribute to animal abuse. And while business for hotel owners is thriving, the hope to prevent the same future for new elephants is, sadly, decreasing.

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