Large elephant carrying tourists collapses and dies of heart attack after suffering heat stroke on very hot day

By: Wayne Morin

(Scroll down for video) Animal rights groups are angry after an elephant died while carrying tourists on a very hot day in Cambodia.

The 45-year-old elephant was used to carry around tourist for many years in Siem Reap.

Animal activists are calling for an investigation after the elephant named Sambo, was carrying tourists to a temple despite the fact that temperatures reached as high as 104 degrees.

The elephant worked for the Angkor Elephant Company for the past 15 years. Earlier this week, the elephant carried two people on its back for about 45 minutes, before it collapsed.

A veterinarian who saw Sambo after its death confirmed that the animal died of a heart attack due to high temperatures, heat exhaustion and lack of wind that would have helped to cool it.

A petition was launched to end elephant riding at the Angkor archaeological park.

Activists believe that this is a cruel tourist attraction that is proven to be harmful to elephants, and can only damage the tourism industry of the country.

The recent death of Sambo, a female elephant used for tourist rides, should be the final wake-up call for the community and tourism industry to take the steps needed to end this horrific practice, the petition reads.