WARNING: Graphic images, reader discretion advised
Shocking footage of a man dancing on the back of a dying circus elephant has provoked calls for a full investigation into the animal’s tragic demise.
The film shows Madi - a 48-year-old Indian elephant - slowly drowning in a river as the circus owner's brother jumps around on her in a pair of swimming shorts.
Horrified witnesses made the 40-minute video when Madi - from Germany's Universal Circus Renz - was taken to a river to bathe during a tour of Estonia.
Rene Renz was filmed dancing upon the back of the dying elephant
As Madi - clearly frail and in distressed - stumbles onto her side into the water, the zoo owner's brother Rene Renz leaps onto her back and begins clowning around for spectators.
Even when the stricken elephant sinks dying under the surface of the water, in the eastern city of Narva, Renz leaps from its back in a comic dive for more laughs.
Madi had been on an extended tour of Estonia as a special attraction at Rene Renz's travelling show.
Now the circus owner Daniel Renz and brother Rene are under investigation for alleged animal cruelty.
Local Green MP Ursula Hammann said: "There needs to be an official government inquiry."
Animal rights activists of Pro Wildlife have made a formal complaint to the region's veterinary office.
"It is a truly shocking scene. The animal is clearly old and frail," said one campaigner.
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