Tortured elephant released, thanks to Paul McCartney

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Tortured elephant released, thanks to Paul McCartney

The life of Sunder the elephant gained worldwide attention earlier this month, after his tragic existence in India was revealed to the public. The 13-year-old elephant had been kept chained in the dark for seven years at an Indian temple, at the hands of an abusive handler.

But officials announced Sunder will be rescued from his shed hell in India’s Maharashtra district. He will be moved to a wildlife centre near Bangalore.

The elephant got a boost from a couple of celebrities, who pleaded with Indian officials for the animal’s release. Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney and actress Pamela Anderson rallied India’s forest minister Dr. Patangrao Kadam for Sunder’s freedom.

According to The Sun newspaper, the 70-year-old had written: “I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at a temple and put in chains with spikes. Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way. Enough is enough. Get Sunder out.”

Animal rights group, PETA, has publicly thanked Kadam for his kindnessr. A PETA spokesperson says, “The difference between Sunder’s cruel life in chains at the temple and his new journey to freedom, love and care is like night and day. We are grateful to the Forest Minister for agreeing to liberate Sunder and let him enjoy things that are natural and important to him for the first time in his life.”

Observers say the abuse of Sunder highlights a growing scandal in India — over the way elephants are used in Indian temples to represent the Hindu god Ganesha. Reports say these animals are often mistreated, and frequently controlled through beating. The elephants are also prodded and gouged in sensitive areas behind their knees and ears. They often wilt away without veterinary care and are fed unsuitable food.


Madison is a journalist/media consultant currently working in Toronto.

  • http://www.pfaharyana.in Naresh Kadyan

    This was a joint efforts, let another abused elephants in Amar circus stationed in Maharashtra and male elephant in Dabchick, Hodal also be rescued. Abhishek Kadyan moved appeal before the IG (WL) as given below:
    Kindly refer to the DIG (WL) reply under RTI Act, 2005 vide F.No. 25-1/2005 WL-I(pt) dated August 21, 2012 and I am not satisfied with the reply, hence I appeal before your good self for consideration as under:
    1. Elephant has been declared as a National heritage animal of India with out any rules and regulations to safe guard his heritage status and it was requested to frame it now because elephants are being badly abused for pride, entertainment, political and publicity tool, personnel gain and profit being an national heritage animal of India protected under scheduled one of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. I could not understand why it is so and for what purpose elephant custody given to those people who abused them to earn their bred and butter?
    2. Please give me information that how and why elephant custody given to those people, who earn their bred and butter abusing elephant for pride, entertainment, political and publicity tool, personnel gain and profit being an national heritage animal of India protected under scheduled one of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972?
    3. Please give me information that why elephants are being compelled to remain in the custody of their abusers, where as Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra etc are not a natural habitat for these elephants but these animals are still remain here with out any rules and regulation?
    4. Please supply me the complete list of elephant’s custody given in the above said area’s Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Maharashtra etc.
    5. How and why the Haryana Tourism Corporation Limited allowed elephant in their Dabchick resorts at Hodal for profit against payment, where as FIR No. 274 dated August 19, 2012 has been lodged but till date abused elephant was not yet rescued and rehabilitated?
    6. The Ministry of Environment and Forest issued guidelines to all concerned for strict compliance in 2008 but same was ignored by many of the Chief Wild Life Warden’s. Please supply me the copy of rules and regulations, guidelines framed by all states for there welfare of elephants. It would be pertinent to mention here that the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench ban the use of Iron ankush on elephants but all so called elephant owners are using iron ankush to handle the elephants, where as guidelines were treated as a rules and regulations in the High court orders till their framing by the CWLW of Rajasthan but I am sorry to say the said orders were not yet obeyed by the concerned.
    7. One female elephant Laxmi is being missing from the Dabchick at Hodal since long, another elephant is missing from the Kurukshetra, where as Amar circus in Maharashtra also abusing female elephant illegally, where as CZA and AWBI along with the concerned CWLW’s failed to perform their official duties. It is learnt that Dabchic female sick elephant in the possession of Wildlife sos but offenders are not yet booked under the law of the land.
    8. The CZA passed an order to rescue all elephants from the Zoo’s, circuses are also covered under the Zoo category but these animals are still abused for profit.
    9. One baby elephant Sunder was ordered to rescue by the Government of Maharashtra recently but no legal action was taken against the abusers, why?