An investigation into the death of a circus elephant has found no basis for animal rights activists' assertions of ill-treatment.
A statement from the Veterinary and Food Board said officials have recently received four tips that the elephant had been physically harmed, none of which held water upon investigation.
"On May 17, we conducted a thorough inspection of the animal's living conditions and health. During the time of the inspection, the elephant was healthy and well fed, and there were no signs of physical abuse,” an official said in a press release.
The agency has now turned to German authorities to check an allegation that the elephant, which was previously part of a German circus, was born in the wild. Both Estonia and Germany have signed the CITES convention, which bans the use of wild endangered species in circuses. Such practice is also against Estonian laws.
The 47-year-old female Indian elephant died in Narva last Friday during a swim in a river. It was buried in a forest near the town of Auvere.