Captive Elephant Erupts in Anger—Help Now!

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4 min read


Over the weekend, Sunder became violent and uncontrollable and attempted to escape. The fierce outburst included pulling down a heavy pillar to which he was tied with strong ropes and ransacking local retail shops—actions that show that he is suffering severely and is desperate to flee from his abusers.

Pillar to which Sunder was tied

Sunder, back in the dark shed, chained

PETA has demanded an emergency meeting with Maharashtra Forest Minister Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam to secure Sunder’s relocation to a sanctuary, pointing out that people living in and around the temple are at risk of being harmed or killed and that the mahout and temple management are now likely to abuse Sunder even more as they try to control him. Please write to Dr. Kadam today and get everyone you know to do the same. Urge him politely but firmly to arrange for Sunder’s relocation immediately. The world is watching. Thank you.

Originally posted August 6:

You may have heard that just before the London Olympic Games, Paul McCartney halted rehearsals to make an urgent plea in behalf of a suffering young elephant. Now, PETA has obtained new photographic evidence of the abuse that the elephant is enduring while being used as a living begging bowl and beaten by a vicious, inept young mahout (trainer).

At just 13 years old, Sunder has already experienced terrible torment. Kept in chains in a dark shed at the Jyotiba Temple in Maharashtra, India, he is unable to take even a single step without causing a spike to jab his skin.

When he is taken out of the shed in order to beg for money for this wealthy temple, the mahout controls him with a spiked chain, a sharp bullhook (which is like a fireplace poker), and other weapons that force Sunder to follow orders out of fear of being struck.

Sunder is often seen with fresh wounds that he sustained during beatings, and the marks that cover his body stand as evidence of years of abuse. Permission was eventually given to provide the elephant with veterinary care for his right eye, which was likely injured from being jabbed with a bullhook.

Sunder is also denied adequate food and water and never experiences anything that is natural and important to him, such as exploring the woods and enjoying the company of other elephants.

A complaint has been filed with police against Sunder’s mahout, since the torment that he inflicts on the elephant is in violation of the Wildlife Protection acts of 1972 and 2002 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. PETA and the veterinarians present are also requesting that Forest Minister Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam use his authority to have Sunder surrendered and retired to a proper sanctuary that is standing by to receive him.

Help free Sunder! E-mail the forest minister, Dr. Kadam, and urge him to free Sunder without a moment’s delay.

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