An investigation has been launched into the death of a female elephant called Sambo, who collapsed and died at a roadside in Cambodia while carrying tourists in blistering heat.
Sambo was between 40-45 years old and had been carrying tourists in cruel conditions for 15 years of her life.
Photos of the animal originally appeared in a Facebook post belonging to the account of Yem Senok.
A loose translation of the post reads “Alas elephant in the Angkor area is used to serve the tourist transport services fell to dead air.”
According to reports, the elephant collapsed of a fatal heart attack after ferrying two tourists – one at a time – to a temple in the famous Angkor Wat complex.
Apparently, she had been working for 40 minutes in temperatures reaching 40 degrees.
A veterinarian concluded that the animal had died of a heart attack “due to high temperatures, heat exhaustion and lack of wind that would have helped to cool her.”
Sambo had worked for the Angkor Elephant Company since 2001, said manager Oan Kiri, adding: “We’re all very sad to have lost her.”
This also begs the question why are elephants being made to carry tourists all day everyday when the conditions are so harsh on the animals?
Yem’s FB post has already picked up over 8,000 shares.
Briton Jack Highwood, who runs the Elephant Valley Project, said that if Cambodia are set on having elephants in captivity and working them then conditions “need to be regulated.”
The Angkor Elephant Company in Cambodia also has the largest concentration of captive elephants on the planet and with population numbers on the decrease, something should really be changed quickly.
There is no excuse for working animals to exhaustion.