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Elephant Interrupts McCartney’s Olympic Rehearsal

Written by Michelle Kretzer | July 26, 2012

Paul McCartney just made an Olympic-sized move for animals. In the midst of preparations for the London Olympics, which begin tomorrow, he put rehearsals on hold to send an urgent letter to Indian Forest Minister Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam asking him to help rescue an abused baby elephant

The young elephant, named Sunder, is confined to a dark shed at the Jyotiba Temple in Maharashtra, where he is kept in chains that have sharp spikes attached to them. The spikes stab Sunder’s feet, making it impossible for him to take a single step in any direction. PETA India learned that Sunder also has lesions all over his body from where his handler has beaten him with a bullhook (a sharp metal device that looks like a fireplace poker) and that his right eye is injured from being jabbed with the bullhook.

In his letter, Paul implored:

I most respectfully call on you to use your authority to get Sunder out, placed in your protective custody, and eventually integrated into a herd in the forest. … Please know the world is watching and wishing for a happy conclusion.

You can help! Urge the Maharashtra Forest Minister to use his authority to rescue Sunder and send him to a sanctuary.

Commenting is closed.
  • Tina Wilson says:

    Absolutely horrible! The picture of those spikes around his leg makes my heart feel those spikes…….Please save this baby…….

  • olympia bravo says:

    This is so sad, my heart breaks. He should be with his mother. I will never understand how anyone could inflict such cruelty on an animal.

  • Lynda Strutt says:

    This is so sad, my heart breaks. He should be with his mother. I will never understand how anyone could inflict such cruelty on an animal. An update on his progress would be good, as this was 12 months ago.

  • PJ says:

    This is so heart breaking!! What kind of humane being would ever do this to such a sweet young defenseless elephant or any animal as far as that goes! Please free poor Sunder immediately and return him to where he belongs with a mother elephant and heard that will adopted him. Whom ever did this cruel act should be punished and put in chains himself!! Thank God for people like Paul McCartney…

  • Karen V Brown says:

    This has to stop!! I sure hope that Foreign Minister releases Sunder…like Paul said….the world is watching. God Bless you Sir Paul McCartney.

  • sue lynch says:

    great work Sir Paul,I am hopingad praying for this sweet little elepahnt to finally have a life of freedom. I am also hpoing that who ever is responsible for causing abuse to this elephant will be proscuted and dealt with ACCORDINGLY!

  • C. Morgan McNeil says:

    Restore this young elephant to a herd. Elephants have been a part of Indian community from the very beginning. Who are we if we cannot give to other beings the simple needs and securities we ourselves desire? Love thy neighbour as thyself. Honour and protect this ancient friend. Make Sunder safe.

  • Clare says:

    Prisoner, it might happen to you, one day

  • Pam Sweeney says:

    PLEASE save Sunder! It’s so disheartening to know people are capable of such cruelty.

  • laureen says:

    Any update on this poor baby elephant? The news was in 2012 and there’s no more follow-up news.

  • Janice Ferguson says:

    My sister is a convert to Hinduism and I believe the concept of Ahimsa-noninjury to any living creature is a goal. Rarely completely realized( Jains do wear masks and sweep the road in front of them to avoid harming insects) The sight of this tortured baby should make the torturer and owner fear for their own karma. As a Christian I would have no objection to seeing them in Hell-and I have a feeling that God would agree

  • Lanette Rapp says:

    Please take immediate action to free this elephant. Let him be helped and healed.

  • Brenda Macy says:

    This is absolutely one of the worst cases of elephant abuse I have ever seen…does anyone know what became of this elephant…if any one has any info please post it here so I can see it…thank you

  • Yvonne Cox says:

    This is absolutely unconsionable that anyone could do this to any kind of an animal. They should do the same thing to the person that does these things to let them know how it feels. Someday you will have to answer to God! Shame on you! How do you sleep at night & live with yourself?

  • Sonja Evans says:

    Absolutely horrific abuse of an innocent fellow animal. STOP THE SUFFERING AND FREE HIM/HER NOW! We, as humans, have NO RIGHT to harm our fellow creatures. Oh, and please let me deal with the cowardly animal abuser personally. Oh yes, there will come a day..

  • Bonnie Dugan says:

    PLEASE! How sad & what for? Take Sunder to a sanctuary so he can roam with his own kind & have a happy life. Don’t you all have any feelings at all for living beings….these beautiful creatures. What if you were chained….Elephants are extremely bright & should be handled with respect…..

  • sara says:

    i want to save my baby myself!!!

  • Claire Jones says:

    Please set this baby elephant free to live a natural life with a herd. Please end his suffering.

  • Marie Johansson says:

    This is to painful to watch but I have to for Sunders sake because someone needs to speak out for him and end his horrible ongoing nightmare. Thank you so much to put a light on this and please help him immediately.

  • Amy Kritz says:

    Does anyone know what has happened to Sunder? There is no indication he was ever moved to a sanctuary. It sounds as if the temple refused to comply.

  • Raquel says:

    How do I feel helpless. The sad look of it made ​​me cry. How can anyone be so cruel? sometimes feel despair but we need to keep doing everything we can, even if it is little.

  • Debbie Nichols says:

    Please allow this beautiful elephant freedom. Stop this madness now.

  • Ali says:

    How could anyone live with themselves if they did something like that to a baby elephant!?

  • maria mc dermott says:

    whoever is in charge of this baby elephant sunder,i am beging you please set him free. maria mc dermott.

  • Nilanjan Banerjee says:

    I am also a vegetarian and an avid animal lover and condemn sorry state of street animals ( cats & Dogs )outright apathy of the Civic Authority of Calcutta .No one cares for them and mostly people are cruel and heartless to street animals . ITs REALLY very sad. Can PETA take up With KMC & save Those suffering animals ?

  • Ryan from Mass says:

    What in the hell is wrong with people. Come on what is this complete lack of sympathy for the pain and agony of other living beings. Where is this total disconnect emotionally. There are moments like when i see this images when my anger boils, and i feel like going crazy. Instead I have to try and calm down and realize that I simply have to do what i can to help, cuz i know i dont do enough, which is true for many of us. Many people are in desperate need of a drop of sympathy.

  • Laura says:

    Help this wonderful creature. Sunder does not deserve to be held under the hands of abuse. This type of violence can not be ignored or pacified any longer. Take action and rescue Sunder. What is the purpose of this violent hold on this animal? Re-evaluate and consider the alternatives.

  • K. Ferrell says:

    Please save this poor little guy. No animal deserves to be treated this way.

  • Bonnie Dugan says:

    Elephants travel miles in herds; they are not supposed to be chained & unable to even take a step! How can you people be so horrible to such intelligent & wonderful animals. Send poor Sunder to a sanctuary so can have a little happiness. SO INCREDIBLY SAD…

  • Rae Carroll says:

    The ones accountable for the suffering and pain of these animals are evil. Sundra needs urgent help and to be freed from the cruelty.

  • valeria gomes says:


  • Edel Mc Donnell says:

    Please help this beautiful elephant, remove him from this horrendous situation of cruelty. This is heartbreaking

  • derek kightlinger says:

    This is discusting disurbingly evil

  • JaneyHauber says:

    I do not understand how people can abuse animals. They have no way to communicate their suffering to us nor their pleading for it to stop. They do what they are supposed to do in the hope that it will stop, but the cruel and inhumane torturers simply continue to beat and hurt these poor animals. They have no heart. They have no soul. They cannot look into the eyes of these animals and see love, joy. They look and see fear and they feel power. It is them who should be punished. Please rescue baby Sunder and send him to a sanctuary where he can forget the abuse he has suffered. Thank you.

  • Laura Adams says:

    There is not, never has been, & never will be an excuse or reason for cruelty to any living being.

  • J Gammeltoft says:

    Simply take action right away and rescue this innocent baby elephant from this sadistic brutality or live with your-self in the darkest of ignorance and pain?

  • Maria Dassing says:

    We are informed about animal abuse by PETA, ASPCA, and so many other animal rights group. There is no excuse for animal abuse. Animal abuse has to stop. But it won’t. People abuse animals. We cannot change people. But we can do something about people abusing animals. Someone once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Speak for animals. Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam, please do everything in your power to help rescue the abused baby elephant named Sunder. Please help Sunder receive medical attention to his injured eye and lesions on his body and have the chains with sharp spikes removed from her leg. Please Dr. Kadam.

  • Holland Sri Devamitta Maha Thera says:

    Stop this abuse of the baby elephant is it not enough! And this in a Temple they should be deeply ashamed! what about Ahimsa? is that not for animals! Rehab and free this baby!



  • Tricia says:

    Disgraceful … no living creature should be treated in such a way. Release him NOW!!

  • Alison Brown says:

    PLEASE PLEASE help rescue this poor animal.

  • Tim Layman says:

    I really don’t understand how anyone could be so cruel to another living being. Everyday there are scores of animal abuse stories, stories that make anyone who isn’t a monster want to cry. What is wrong with so many human animals? Were they born without souls, or hearts? I truly hope there is a God and a Hell.

  • Demi Booth says:

    PLEASE help this amazing animal, I don’t understand how pwople can be so heartless. They wouldn’t treat humans like this. It breaks my heart. PLEASE RESCUE SUNDER. Please.

  • Janine Simms says:

    Does anyone have an update on this poor elephant. This is horrible!

  • Cherry says:

    OMG..PLEASE HELP THIS POOR ELEPHANT. its extremely sad to see such animal cruelty..why are there even such people living in this world!?

  • Kate Wideman says:

    Please do release this animal. No living creature should ever be trited like this. Isn’t India a buddhist country?? Where are the buddhist-thinking in this?

  • Gil-Ann Wilder says:

    …And you call yourself a temple? You are the farthest from a temple…more of a hell-hole for elephants. This poor elephant needs to be removed from this suffering and all your ‘so-called’ temples need investigated. Just like Gandhi says: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi quotes (Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948)

  • Stephanie says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE rescue and save this poor, abused animal. NO living thing deserves to be treated like that!!!!!

  • K says:

    And man believes they are civilized—— really? If this is civilized I am ashamed to say I am part of civilization. Please free this poor baby

  • sivangy says:

    Please help the baby elephant. Everyone deserve a good life on this planet.