Elephant injures 18 people after rampaging during religious festival
Sri Lankan TV news channel TV Derana has reported that 18 festival-goers have been injured during a Buddhist pageant after an elephant in the procession went on a rampage, crushing spectators in its path.
The procession took place in Kotte, near Sri Lanka's capital, and started with a government minister placing a sacred relic atop a decorated casket, which was then place on top of an elephant adorned with shiny red gowns.
However, the celebration quickly turned chaotic when a distressed elephant surged forward, sending several spectators straight into one another, before going on a rampage down the street.
Check out the unbelievable scene in the video below:
In the shocking video, people can be seen being trampled by the huge animal and it makes a beeline for the crowd on the side of the street.
Per the Metro, officials from two hospitals have confirmed that 18 injured people were brought in following the stampede, including women and at least two children. As of this writing, 16 of those injured have been discharged.
The incident comes just one month after controversial images were shared by welfare group Save Elephant Foundation on Facebook, showing what they claimed to be an emancipated 70-year-old elephant having its skeletal body hidden with festival garments.
A few days after their original post, the Save Elephant Foundation posted another picture of Tikiri the elephant after having allegedly collapsed from exhaustion.
"On the day we met her the vet said she is strong and Ok to walk", the group wrote in the accompanying caption. "We can not just let it go silent. Time to stand up and take action to protect the others who still suffer and are waiting for our voice."
To see just how incredible, protective, and powerful these amazing creatures can be, check out this video of a herd of elephants charging a pack of wild dogs in order to protect a calf: