Devotees hold emotional funeral for tame elephant in south India

A dramatic video has emerged of a group of devotees and supporters paying their last respects to a deceased elephant in southern India.

The scenes were captured in between the night and morning of April 24 in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu state.

Visuals showed people laying flowers on the dead elephant, as a mark of respect, as it lay dead. A man, believed to be a mahout (the elephant’s care taker) sobbed uncontrollably while caressing the carcass.

Footage from the morning also showed a crane digging up earth-making the resting ground of the fallen animal. After the job was done, the carcass was lifted and placed on the large pit.

Reports identified the deceased elephant as Valli, 18. The animal died on Tuesday night (April 23).

Valli served the Thiruvilanji Kumarer Temple at Ilanji, with the reason for the elephant’s death being reported as an unspecified ailment.

Meanwhile, a temple source was quoted in the media as saying the elephant collapsed suddenly while taking a walk.

Lamenting its demise, many devotees stated proper treatment could have saved the animal.