Bangkok: A 50-year-old celebrity elephant was allegedly poisoned to death and its metre-long tusks sawn off in Thailand`s Ayutthaya province, media reports said today.
The tusker named Khlao, weighing about 4.9 tonnes, had appeared in the film `Alexander the Great`, which was partly shot in Thailand, reported the Bangkok Post.
Its mahout, Phan Salangam, told police that he had left the elephant chained to a tree beside a river last evening and found it dead this morning.
The elephant was apparently killed by a highly poisonous substance, he said.
Laithongrian Meephan, owner of another elephant chained alongside Khlao said that the killers might be local teenagers or drug addicts because they had not sawn the tusks off right from the base.
They did not appear to know that the tusks are valuable only if cut from the base, he said.
Ayutthaya governor Witthaya Phiewphong condemned the elephant`s murder and said Khlao had carried many members of the royal family and taken part in royal processions.