Elephants go on rampage at Sri Lanka festival, injuring 13 and sparking panic among pilgrims


Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 11, 2023
This is probably not the first incident in South Asia where an elephant has gone crazy among a crowd of people


Elephants Go Out Of Control At Sri Lanka Festival, Pilgrims Flee; 13 Injured

A Hindu religious festival in Sri Lanka ended in chaos after an elephant in the procession panicked, with 13 people in the crowd injured as they fled, police said Sunday.

Video footage shared on social media showed one of the elephant's keepers trying to pull the agitated animal by its tail in a desperate attempt to control it, while screaming devotees lining the street rushed to escape.

The images show a parade of elephants covered in red, blue and gold robes from trunk to tail, in front of a large crowd while cymbals clanged.

Thirteen people were taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries in Kataragama, 280 kilometres (175 miles) south of the capital Colombo, a police spokesman said.

A spokesman for the state-run Kataragama hospital said on Sunday, the day after the incident, that all the injured had been discharged.

Elephants are considered sacred in Sri Lanka, but animal cruelty laws are rarely enforced.

Animal rights groups have criticised the widespread use of elephants at temple ceremonies in Sri Lanka.

There have been instances when the animals have gone berserk at parades involving loud music and fireworks.

In August 2023, dozens of pilgrims jumped into a lake in the central city of Kandy to escape five agitated young elephants. Several people were hurt and one woman was hospitalised.

In 2019, at least 17 people were injured when elephants ran amok at a temple festival in Colombo.

Official records show there are about 200 domesticated elephants in the island nation, along with a wild population of around 7,500.

The government has banned the capture of wild elephants but dozens of calves have been stolen in recent years, often after their mothers were killed by their captors.

South Asian Elephants usually are one of the empathetic animals towards humans, they need to abused for them to have done this.
An animal is an animal. No matter how much you trust them, if provoked, then get ready for the rampage.

Sad incident.