An elephant attached to the famous shrine of Manakula Vinayakar in Puducherry died of sudden cardiac arrest on Wednesday, while being taken on a stroll here.
The elephant named Lakshmi was donated by an industrialist to the temple in 1995 and had become popular among the devotees and also foreigners who used to seek blessings of the animal.
A veterinary doctor of the territorial government, who was taking care of the jumbo was present at the site where the animal suffered heart attack and died. He told PTI that the animal was in good health and the sudden cardiac attack caused its death. The pachyderm collapsed on the road close to the Calve College government secondary school and passed away.
President of the Trustees Board of the temple Ramachandran said that the animal would be buried later in the day at the sprawling site belonging to the temple in neighbouring Muthialpet.
With the news of the elephant’s demise spreading like wildfire through social media, people from different parts of the union territory made a beeline to pay homage. People were also seen showering flower petals and placing wreaths on the mortal remains of the animal.
Police personnel were deployed in strength to control the crowd when the animal was lifted with the help of a crane to a truck.
Manakula Vinayakar temple was the only shrine in Puducherry to own an elephant.