Elephant collapses and dies after carrying tourists at Cambodia's Angkor Wat

It had been walking for 40 minutes, carrying tourists on their sightseeing journey of the beautiful Angkor Wat region, before collapsing and dying.

A female elephant named Sambo, which was trained to carry tourists, reportedly died last Friday near Bakheng mountain, sparking an outcry on social media.

Believed to be about 40 to 45 years old, the elephant worked for the Angkor Elephant Company since 2001.

According to the company's manager Kiri, Sambo took two trips from Bayon Temple to Bakheng. It collapsed after taking a pair of tourists to Bayon.

The company said it is saddened by the loss.

"After our veterinarian checked...we concluded that she died of heart attack due to high temperatures and lack of wind," the company spokesman said.

A Facebook post of Sambo lying on its side on the ground has been shared over 8,000 times with many upset at how the elephant died. 

According to Phnom Penh Post, a change.org petition was subsequently put up to call for an end to elephant rides in Angkor Wat. 

Jack Highwood of the Elephant Valley Project, said that the 13 remaining elephants of the Angkor Elephant Company "represent the largest concentration of captive elephants" in the country.