Help Sunder Finally Gain Freedom
Authorities in India have still not transferred Sunder, a 13-year-old elephant who had been chained for years at the Jyotiba Temple in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, to a sanctuary—despite Maharashtra Minister of Forests Dr. Patangrao Kadam's order calling for Sunder's release. Authorities have the responsibility to follow the Kadam's order but seem to lack the will to do so. It is thought that Sunder has been hidden by temple authorities in a dark, heavily guarded poultry shed behind a dairy facility.
Sunder has been denied freedom of movement, and on the rare occasions when he was taken for a short walk at the temple, he was kept in spiked chains. Because of the abusive treatment at the hands of his mahout, Sunder was found by PETA India with wounds all over his body and a damaged eye.
Elephants are highly intelligent and social animals. In nature, they spend around 18 hours a day walking, feeding, bathing in watering holes, and interacting with other elephants, and females live in close-knit family groups for life. Elephants held in captivity are separated from their families as babies and are sentenced to a lifetime of confinement, boredom, loneliness, and abuse. Constantly kept in chains, many exhibit signs of mental illness, including repetitive swaying, rocking, and head-bobbing. The chains also cause painful wounds and pressure sores, which often become infected. The lack of exercise and the years spent standing on hard concrete amid their own waste lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis. The severe confinement has led Sunder to act out in frustration, creating a risk for temple authorities and visitors. Please help PETA India in urging authorities to immediately transfer Sunder to a sanctuary.