- Allowed to take part on a request made by her owner
Clarifying the rumours on the use of 70-year-old she-elephant Tikiri in the Perahera, the Sri Dalada Maligawa said in a statement that the elephant was allowed to take part in the Perahera on a request made by her owner that she wanted to fulfil a pooja.
- It is an ancient belief that the performing of Pooja (Offerings) to gods/ deities by sick or weak elephants has healing powers
“It is an ancient belief that the performing of Pooja (Offerings) to gods/ deities by sick or weak elephants has healing powers. Hence, given the digestive ailment of Tikiri, her owner specially requested the Diyawadana Nilame of the Vishnu Devala to allow Tikiri to take part in this year’s procession in the hope of curing her. Taking into account the great service performed by Tikiri to the Esala Procession, the request was accepted in terms that she is proved to be fit to take the streets after a thorough examination. Given that Tikiri was proved to be fit, she was allowed to take part in a few processions,” the statement issued by the Dalada Maligawa said.
It said, “At first glance, one might think that she is old, feeble and unfit to take part in a Perahera. But in reality, her physical appearance that suggests so is due to a digestive ailment she suffers from. “
This hasn’t affected her strength and abilities. The ailment prevents her from putting on weight but doesn’t affect the performance of her day to day activities. And the responsibility of keeping her under thorough examination is performed by her owner and caretakers. Having said that, it has to be noted that only physically stable elephants are sent to the Perahera.The recent removal of two majestic Tuskers from the Perahera line up who were too sick to take part, supports this fact.
Any elephant who needs special attention is being carefully looked after. As for Tikiri, she is being fed broken up food for easy digestion. These dietary modifications and special care have brought Tikiri to a better state than before.