Written by Michelle Kretzer
After nearly two months of rehabilitation, the rescued hyena ate her last meal
in captivity and was released back into the jungle one night last week. The area where
she stepped out of her transfer cage was close to where she was found. The
local forest department reported that more than a dozen hyenas—possibly from the rescued hyena's clan—are known to live in the area.
The following was originally posted November 22, 2011:
evening in the Maharastran countryside in India, a terrified hyena was running
to escape a pack of street dogs when she tumbled into a well that was not visible
to her in the darkness and plunged 50 feet down to the bottom. She had evaded
the dogs, but now she was banged up and hopelessly trapped.
happened to witness the hyena's fall, and he jumped into action, calling PETA India for help. The Animal Rahat ("rahat"
means "relief" in Hindi) rescue team quickly hatched a plan. The team
lowered a large net and, after several tries, was able to scoop up the hyena
and pull the scared little animal to safety.
the team took the hyena to the Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Centre to be checked
for injuries and treated, and she will eventually be returned to her clan. Hyenas
can hear the calls of
their clan from more
than 2 miles away when they
become separated, so it's possible that her family members heard her cries and
are anxious for her safe return.
Most of us
won't rescue a hyena in our lifetime, but with simple actions like moving turtles off the road and taking stray dogs and cats to an animal shelter, we can save animals
whose lives are just as important to them as ours are to us.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
goats at the Heifer International farm that I went to as a kid were
particularly feisty; I remember the struggle that my mother had to get them
into the milking pens, always wary of being kicked. Luckily, my mom's milking
gig was only once a week, but now that I've learned more about animal-donation programs,
I can only imagine how women in the drought-prone areas that Heifer shipped the
goats to must have tussled daily with the animals, in addition to the headache
of trying to provide them with enough food and water.
Animal-donation programs like those run by Heifer International
and Oxfam do not
provide a sustainable solution for global hunger. Grazing animals often cause topsoil
runoff and land degradation, which can contribute to drought, leading the environmental group World Land Trust
to call these programs "environmentally unsound and economically disastrous."
An exposé about
a program in India that gave cows to impoverished farmers noted that the "beneficiaries"
have a difficult time providing even the most basic care to the animals who have
been forced upon them. Having another mouth to feed often adds to a family's burden, and the animals often suffer from horrible
neglect, including malnutrition, dehydration, lack of veterinary care,
and lack of shelter from the burning midday sun or freezing nighttime
temperatures. On a recent trip to India, PETA
President Ingrid E. Newkirk saw the distinctive black-and-white Holsteins and
Holstein-crosses from America roaming the streets and eating plastic bags out
of trash cans, which will clog their intestines and kill them. Many donated
animals will end up in filthy, unregulated slaughterhouses and have their
throats cut with a dull knife.
your friends and family to avoid animal-donation programs and instead consider
supporting sustainable, animal-friendly organizations that work to end hunger,
such as The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Food for Life Global,
and Feed My Starving
Children. Another way to aid poor
families is to donate to the PETA-supported program Animal Rahat,
which provides free veterinary care to working animals in India who are lame,
sick, or injured.
If you can't bear the thought of wrapping up another
video game or pair of gloves, why not give your loved ones the gift of alleviating
animal suffering? We've rolled out our PETA Presents website just in
time for the holidays, and the site features gifts from $5
that protect animals every time your loved ones pull off a big red bow.
You are guaranteed not to hear, "You
shouldn't have," when you wrap up a toy for a lonely chained dog,
a spay/neuter surgery,
or a day off for a working
We'll send your recipient a beautiful
e-card thanking him or her for helping animals. Or, if you prefer to have
something to put under the tree, you can print a picture and description of the
gift and create an attractive certificate suitable for framing.
Long after the gift
cards have been spent, the candy has been eaten, and the golf clubs are gathering
dust in the closet, your gift will still be helping animals. Visit PETAPresents.org to start giving today.
Written by PETA
the Indian festival of Diwali, people traditionally share
sweets and snacks with family members and friends, so it only makes sense that staffers
with Animal Rahat, a working-animal relief program
in India supported by PETA, would mark the festival of lights by paying a visit
to Animal Rahat's sanctuary for retired bullocks in Sangli to share some treats
with their friends there.
staffers also cleaned and groomed the animals and gave them much-appreciated
massages, as well as performing the traditional Hindu rituals associated with
the holiday. In the photos below, you can see some of the animals in their
holiday finery, enjoying their "prasad" (offerings to the goddess
Lakshmi—in this case, a tasty banana).
bullocks also enjoyed a special meal of green grass and molasses (an extra special treat), and the resident dogs dined on a holiday feast of rice and
out more about Animal Rahat's vital work to provide veterinary care, rest,
nutrition, shelter, aid, and retirement to working animals in India at AnimalRahat.com. Please also consider making a donation today to become a supporter of the Animal Rahat program.
Great news from our colleagues at Animal Rahat, who not only stopped a bullock race in the Indian state of Maharashtra but also convinced the organizers to agree in writing to stop the races for good. This was no simple task: The team faced a mob of 5,000 people ready to participate in or watch the race. But with tact and persistence, they were able to spare the bulls from being forced to run.
Despite a recent ban on bullock racing, these cruel events are still being organized in rural areas. The bullocks are malnourished and thirsty and are routinely whipped and beaten. Cruel methods are used to keep them moving, like having pieces of barbed wire wedged underneath their harnesses. Ropes that are jammed through holes pierced in the bulls' nostrils are yanked and pulled so hard that their noses are often ripped open.
Don't let "entertainment" events involving animals in your area go unchallenged. Contact the organizers to get it stopped and contact us so that we can help.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Every year, thousands of people from all over the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka travel to the village of Chinchali to attend the annual fair celebrating the goddess Mayakka Devi. Entire families pile into carts pulled by bullocks, horses, and donkeys for what can be a two-day trip across hundreds of miles. The animals often suffer from dehydration, wounds, and lameness, and some even collapse from the strain.
Animal Rahat, a working-animal relief program supported by PETA, has provided aid and emergency veterinary care to the animals in years past, but this year, under the direction of Dr. Manilal Valliyate, it went a step further and chartered buses to transport villagers to the fair in order to give the hardworking animals a long-overdue rest.
To help animals along the route to the fair, Animal Rahat deployed four relief teams, including a full-time veterinary team at the busiest rest station, a veterinary team at the fair itself, an on-call emergency veterinarian for the entire route, and an education team that discussed proper animal care with animal guardians.
Animal Rahat's veterinarians estimate that they treated hundreds of bullocks and horses for dehydration and injuries—but by providing bus transport, hundreds more animals were spared from having to make the grueling trip at all.
Written by Alisa Mullins
After nine grueling years, an elephant named Mariappan is finally free of the chains that bound him by all four legs so tightly that he could not take a single step in any direction. Mariappan was chained inside a filthy, dark shed at the Arulmigu Mariamman Temple in Samayapuram, India, until a local activist, with the help of PETA India, succeeded in convincing the temple to allow Mariappan to be moved to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, a spacious sanctuary where he can at last feel grass beneath his feet.
Unfortunately, Mariappan is not alone. Many elephants are kept in similarly miserable conditions at temples throughout India. (You may recall reading in The PETA Files about Ram Prasad, a temple elephant who is being helped by Animal Rahat, a relief organization supported by PETA.) Now PETA India and local activists are pressuring the government to free three other elephants who are kept in chains at temples in the Samayapuram area.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Rumors that Russell Brand presented his wife, Katy Perry, with a tiger as a wedding present have been exaggerated, according to the bridegroom himself.
"I'm a vegetarian, you don't give people tigers, it's stupid, it's dangerous, and the tigers don't like it," he told ITV's Loose Women.
Thanks for clearing that up, Russell. So for all of you who are planning to attend a wedding in the near future, you can stop worrying about how to wrap up a 500-pound cat. Sponsoring a bullock through Animal Rahat, however, is still the perfect gift for any occasion. Written by Alisa Mullins
Comedian, actor and longtime animal defender Russell Brand married singer Katy Perry in India's Ranthambhore National Park earlier this week and received an unusual wedding gift from PETA India: a formerly oppressed and now liberated bullock.
Named Russell in honor of the groom, the bullock is no longer forced to spend day after day hauling backbreaking loads—he now lives at a retirement center operated by Animal Rahat, a relief program supported by PETA and PETA India.
Russell (the bullock) had been severely overworked and was very weak when he was rescued, but he is now roaming grass fields and enjoying liberation from the heavy wooden yoke that used to press down on his neck as he pulled a cart in the heat and dust.
"Russell the celebrity and Russell the bullock have something in common: They are both very handsome fellows," says PETA India's Poorva Joshipura. "The gift of a namesake is also fitting because just as Russell Brand embarks on his new life as a married man, Russell the bullock has also been given a new lease on life—the heavy loads he once pulled have been lifted from his shoulders for good."
We are still receiving calls, e-mails, and blog comments about Anapka, the donkey who was recently hoisted up on a parasail and spent a terrifying 30 minutes in the air, braying for help, before crash landing in the ocean and being dragged across the beach in a promotional stunt. Great news: Anapka's days of flying are over after the British newspaper The Sun bought her in response to an onslaught of outraged reader demand.
Vets gave this personable animal a clean bill of health and offers to adopt her and get her into a safe, permanent home are pouring in.
Would you like to help other donkeys who have been abused and hurt? Oh, yes! Please check out the remarkable work of our friends at Animal Rahat.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.