An elephant has died after carrying 'golden howdah' seat during the annual Dasara procession in Karnataka’s Mysuru for a record 18 consecutive years.
The 39-year-old male tusker, Drona, collapsed and died at the Thithimathi Elephant Camp in Karnataka's Nagarahole National Park on Friday, news agency ANI reported.
Drona was said to be 2.69 metres tall and weighed nearly four tonnes.
Authorities said the tusker collapsed as he had gone to drink water from a nearby tank. The animal had reportedly been showing sign of illness since Friday morning.
Madikeri: 39-year-old elephant 'Drona' died at Thithimathi Elephant Camp in Nagarahole National Park earlier today. He carried 'golden howdah' at Dasara procession in Mysuru for a record 18 consecutive years. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/5GKKuUisem
— ANI (@ANI) April 26, 2019
A mahout who first saw the elephant lying dead said it had most likely died of a heart attack. The exact cause of death will be known once doctors conduct an autopsy of the elephant today.
Decked-up elephants are an integral part of Dasara procession that starts from the Amba Vilas Palace and passes through the city.
15 elephants are brought specially for the occasion from an elephant camp in the forests of Nagarahole to the city.
The elephants are also made to rehearse the 5-kilometre route through the city, to get used to the noise and crowds during the Dasara festivities.
The Golden Howdah (elephant seat or Chinnada Ambari in Kannada) is the carrier mounted on the leading elephant during the Jamboo Savari (Elephant Procession) of Dasara.