Water(melon) for Elephants
Ram Prasad spends his days chained by all four legs on a concrete platform at a temple near Sangli, India. Like other temple elephants in India, he is essentially a moneymaker, used to encourage devotees to donate money and gifts. Years of being kept virtually immobilized have caused Ram’s back legs to atrophy, and he has developed a painful foot infection as a result of being forced to stand day in and day out on a hard surface (such foot problems are common in captive elephants—and are the number one cause of elephant deaths in American zoos and circuses).
When veterinary staff with Animal Rahat, a PETA-supported relief program for working animals in India, discovered Ram, he was also suffering from a huge, gaping abscess on his side. Animal Rahat is working with Ram’s caretakers to allow the veterinarians to treat him and has also persuaded them to make other improvements in his care.
Written by Alisa Mullins