Gajamuthassi’ Dakshayini, the oldest captive elephant in all of Asia who was all set to enter the Guinness world record, passed away on Tuesday. She was 88. However, the current Guinness World Record holder for the oldest elephant in captivity is Lin Wang. Given the title Gajamuthassi or elephant granny, Dakshayani took part in temple rituals and processions at the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple in the southern state of Kerala. But her vet said the elephant stopped taking food and died on Tuesday. At 3 pm, a sudden shiver passed through her large frame beginning from the head region. After a few minutes, she bent her forelimbs and lay down. And that was it," T Rajeev told AFP. Pineapples and carrots had been introduced to Dakshayani's diet in recent years to improve her metabolism after she began to have difficulty moving around, probably due to reduced eyesight. For the past three years she did not take part in any temple programme or public function," Rajeev said. The peaceful pachyderm, as her owners referred to her, has been the resident elephant at the Chengallur Mahadeva temple, which is part of the Travancore Devaswom Board in Thiruvananthapuram, for the last 70 years. Prior to this, she was at the AttingalThriuvaaratuKaavu temple in Thiruvananthapuram which was the property of the Travancore Royal family. India has more than 2,400 elephants in captivity.
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