Overweight elephants in India are being made to go on a diet.

''The female temple elephant - 15 year-old Parvathi - is overweight by 500kg (80 stone) and efforts are on to reduce it.''

The large beasts, which are kept in temples for religious reasons, are weighing too much by up to 80 stone and measures are now being taken to ensure they slim down.

Pon Jayaraman, executive officer of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple, told the BBC Tamil service: ''The female temple elephant - 15 year-old Parvathi - is overweight by 500kg (80 stone) and efforts are on to reduce it.''

But veterinary surgeons believe one of the reasons why the elephants are overweight is because their diets often lack variety while in captivity compared to those who live in the jungle and munch on around 200 types of food.