: A 43-year-old elephant belonging to the Bhavani Sangameshwarar Vedanayagiamman temple here died early Friday after ailing for sometime.
Vedanayagi was donated to the temple by a businessman about 40 years ago, according to officials from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board.
The elephant had participated in thousands of functions organised by the temple authorities.
About 15 years ago, Vedanayagi fell ill. Veterinary doctors attended to it and got it cured, the officials said.
Some years later, the animal again fell sick and its condition worsened with its end coming this morning, they said.
On behalf of the temple, Vedanayagi was shrouded in a huge silk shawl and thousands of devotees and others paid their last respects, they said.
The officials said it would be buried in the tourists bungalow near the temple with all temple honours.
On Thursday, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Madras High Court alleging that Vedanayagi was not given adequate care by the temple authorities and sought a directive from the court to shift the animal to the Mudumalai elephant camp for rehab.
The court ordered that the petitioner to first take up the issue with the district-level panel set up under the Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (management and maintenance) Rules.
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