Help Sunder Finally Gain Freedom
UPDATE: The High Court of Bombay has ordered the Maharashtra Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) to follow the Forest Department's order to retire Sunder to a sanctuary. The PCCF is to report compliance by 23 December. The #FreeSunder campaign continues. Take action NOW.
An undercover investigation conducted by PETA India resulted in shocking video footage of a mahout (handler) violently beating Sunder
, a 14-year-old elephant, with a thick wooden pole. The footage reveals a malnourished-looking Sunder chained by two legs, writhing in pain and struggling to stand as the mahout strikes him repeatedly with the pole.
Sunder was chained and abused for six years at the Jyotiba temple in Kolhapur, and following orders by the Maharashtra Forest Department and Project Elephant, which operates under the central Ministry of Environment and Forests, to retire Sunder to a sanctuary, Maharashtra Member of Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore, who had given the elephant as a "gift" to the temple, sent him to be chained in an old, dark poultry shed in Warananagar instead.
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.Please help PETA India in urging authorities to immediately transfer Sunder to a sanctuary.