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Elephant Freed From Indian Temple

Written by PETA | January 11, 2011

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.

 Mariappan was chained for years in this temple room.


 Finally outside enjoying a bath before traveling to his new home.

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

Commenting is closed.
  • Marie says:

    Thank God and Peta that this poor little elephant has been freed. What has happened about the mahout who abused him every single day. Does India have no animal cruelty laws? Please ensure that any other elephants in a similar plight are helped.

  • Suresh K L says:

    Its irony that in Republic day parade we see brave human children honored with medals carried on elephants which themselves might have lost their childwood to undergo unethical training procecdure to carry humans. All elephants from human clutches must be freed and be given their natural freedom.

  • jaya says:

    Thanks for the encouraging marks. As one of the persons who worked with Peta to free this poor suffering animal–I had seen this poor elephant’s suffering in person. You can read about my ordeal and obstacles I have faced in CNN Ireports with pictures. It is a case of pure greed. I just can’t believe people are making money out of this poor voiceless creature. that is the reason for chaining this elephant for such a long time. Probably this elephant is the only elephant in Tamil Nadu, probably in India who had been chained and abused for so long. He is doing very well at the sanctuary. Our goal is to move him to a natural forest area and to unite him with his family. I hope we will succeed. again thank you for all your encouraging remarks.

  • Linda says:

    she was in this horror room for 9 years? what was wrong with these people? thank you to the humane souls that set her free!!

  • Julie says:

    Thank God for people like you and the work you do!

  • kathy says:

    This is wonderful news,but so sad there are others whatcan we do to help free them..and what is the point of this practice anyway????

  • cathy says:

    elephants are one of the most endearing animals alive-to have them live a life like that of a typical barnum and bailey circus elephant makes me sick!peta,thank you!thank you!thank you! for all your hard work in behalf of all animals-you have made such a difference in this cruel world!

  • Parag Dave says:

    Million Thanks to all those who helped in releasing this elephant from this cruelty. May Supreme God bless all of you who helped in freeing this elephant.

  • Stephanie says:

    All the elephant who are chained up should be set free. Elephants aren’t toys, they are living animals and shouldn’t be treated like this. I don’t understand what wrong with some people

  • sunnydog says:

    Excellent news! I can’t wait to see pictures of Mariappan in his new home!!

  • Madhawa says:

    God bless to kind people. Finally it will enjoy its life.

  • Jane Murphy says:

    Elephants are amazing animals. I can not understand how anyone could do this to an animal. I am so glad Mariappan is finally free. These animals have more compassion and more feelings then most people. Please free the other 3 elephants as soon as possible. Thank you PETA !!!!!

  • DogWithBlog says:

    Great news, here’s hoping that other elephants can be freed at the earliest! And how ironic is it that elephant is India’s national heritage animal.

  • Revathi says:

    Being an Indian myself, I’ve always been against such treatments toward animals,especially elephants. One, they are considered scared animals. and two, they will never forget. I’m glad that PETA India has done extremely well.Hopefully, more beautiful animals would be freed from our disgusting pleasures.

  • nancy says:

    Thank you to the activist in India and PETA!!

  • Maureen says:

    It is about time there is some advancement in civilizations, Go India, But it would be greater if you would FREE the rest of your Elephants, Can you not worship them in their own natural temples. Even Jesus spread the word outside of a temple.

  • ocean17 says:

    yes this is good news, Mariappan is finally blessed. let’s not forget that elephants are very intelligent and resourceful animals. Thank you PETA India for helping the animals.

  • Linda says:

    I can’t take the cruelty anymore!! I cannot understand how these people or any person for that fact can inflict such cruelty to any animal.

  • Julie P says:

    he sure looks like he is enjoying that bath – thank you PETA for all you do for the animals

  • Jen says:

    Please donate to this group. Go to their webpage and sponsor them. They need our help.

  • Linda Binos says:

    God Bless to all you wonderful peole for saving this elephant and for everything that you do for the beautiful animals that God gave us to love and enjoy and treat with respect….Bless you Bless you Bless you all in abundance….

  • Denyse says:

    I can’t begin to put into words how happy I feel for this amazing animal being set free I am so proud to be part of the Peta family Peace And Blessings from Canada

  • catlover1998 says:

    that is so cruel! how can people do that to animala???

  • AW says:

    Please free these elephants!


    Thank you.

  • Soraya says:

    This makes me very happy to see this elephant finally free from bondage. Imagine the life this magnificent creature has ahead of him considering his past.

  • martina says:

    PETA – please keep working to help free these poor elephants. I had no idea this kind of cruelty occurred in India. Aren’t their animals supposed to be holy??

  • Penny-Ann Singer says:

    Why are these wonderful animals kept in these atrocious conditions? Disgusting and inhuman, PLEASE government of India release those still being held, NOW!

  • jbdean says:

    So wonderful! Now, let’s get all of them freed. Thank you PETA!!

  • christine says:

    Why would any group think chaining any animal in such a way was a good idea???? Wonderful news. Now I hope Peta can convince others to free the remaining ones. Thanks PETA and St. Francis! xo