The Phuket Zoo authorities didn't realize the three-year-old elephant had broken both its hind legs until three days later.
Jumbo or as he was nicknamed "Dumbo" the baby elephant that went viral recently for headbanging to music has died after his back legs snapped and gave way. The three-year-old elephant was forced to perform tricks at Thailand’s Phuket Zoo over three times a day. Dumbo’s legs had weakened from an infection and that caused his legs to break under his own weight as he tried to lift himself from a mud pit he was kept in, for recovery purposes, zoo authorities confirmed to the Phuket News. Three days after he was hospitalized, Dumbo died.
It was only a month ago that Dumbo went viral for being forced to perform for tourists. He was made to "play" musical instruments, "rave" to music among other things. The video that went viral was shot by a campaign group Moving Animals to highlight the abuse and torture the 3-year-old baby elephant was being put through at the Phuket Zoo. Moving Animals started a petition calling for the elephant to be released into a sanctuary where "he ‘can live in a place where he can feel happiness and peace."
"You may have seen the ghastly images and videos of Dumbo, the baby elephant who is held a prisoner in Phuket Zoo, being forced to 'perform' for tourists daily. Dumbo is a baby elephant who is underfed to the extent that its rib cage is visible, and suffers from severe psychological trauma as a result of being taken away from her mother in order to perform for tourists in Phuket Zoo," said the campaign group.
Over 200,000 signatures were registered in three weeks from starting the petition but it was a little too late as Dumbo, the skeletal baby elephant, passed away.
It was an infection to the digestive tract that weakened his legs causing them to buckle under him. The vet who attended to the elephant said the infection had caused constant diarrhea which in turn caused other health complications. "His body was not absorbing nutrients as it should, which made him very weak," said the vet.
#Dumbo, the three-year-old elephant who was forced to dance for tourists at the infamous #PhuketZoo, has died from malnourishment. It took keepers three days to realise his legs were broken before they took him for treatment. He died three days later. https://t.co/OYwW1cAXeG— We Animals (@WeAnimals) May 17, 2019
Despite the deteriorating condition, it wasn’t until much later that an X-ray was taken to find that Dumbo had broken both his back legs.
"Veterinarians from the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Livestock Development advised us to keep a close eye on his health because he was becoming weak from an infection. The vets came to check on him and provided him with medical treatment, but he was not getting better. His condition kept deteriorating, so we had him taken to the Elephant Hospital in Krabi,” said Zoo Manager Pichai Sakunsorn.
Remember how Phuket zoo mistreated a baby elephant “Dumbo” which was forced to perform all kinds of circus acts including playing music? It died after it was not properly fed and because of that it snapped its back legs. Of course #Phuketzoo owners do not care. Boycott them! pic.twitter.com/U6dLk7XBvM— ThaiMythbuster (@thaimythbuster) May 17, 2019
Dumbo passed away just three days after being admitted to the Elephant Hospital. Staff from the zoo confirmed that the baby elephant had been buried on the zoo premises. While there has been criticism for the zoo’s treatment of the elephant and its bony skeletal structure that suggested the elephant was being starved, the vet who attended to Dumbo suggested he wasn’t a healthy elephant in the first place, "I believe that the cause of Jumbo’s condition may have resulted from him being born prematurely. Also, Jumbo liked bananas and other sweet foods. He refused to eat enough fiber-rich food to remain healthy.”
The statement doesn’t reflect well on the zoo authorities or the veterinarian considering he was made to “perform” for the tourists despite his poor health to the point it killed the animal.