Former Beatle Paul
McCartney broke away from rehearsals for his performance at the London Olympics
after he heard from PETA about the plight of a young elephant named Sunder who is being kept in chains
and was being beaten at Jyotiba Temple in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.
The music legend sent an urgent letter to Maharashtra Forest Minister Dr Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam urging him to use his power immediately to rescue the elephant.
"I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the
elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with
spikes", wrote McCartney. "Years of his life have been ruined by
keeping him and abusing him in this way and enough is enough. I most
respectfully call on you to get Sunder out."
McCartney's plea follows PETA India's discovery that
Sunder was being abused by his mahout
(or handler), who has gone on the run from the police since the group became
involved. Sunder sustained a severe injury to his right eye from being jabbed
in it with an ankus (a sharp, hooked metal poker-like weapon) by the mahout.
The elephant is also confined to chains with sharp spikes and is kept alone
inside a dark shed, in which he cannot take even a
single step forward or backward. Sunder is denied all that is natural and
important to him and lives in fear. There are lesions all over his body,
indicating past beatings by the mahout. The elephant was donated to the temple
by Maharashtra Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore.
A scandal is growing over the way some elephants
used in Indian temples to represent the Hindu god Ganesha are being housed and
mistreated. Frequently controlled through beatings and prodded and gouged in
sensitive areas behind their knees and ears with an ankus, they languish
without veterinary care for even serious conditions, sustain leg injuries and
are fed unsuitable food. Many elephants at Indian temples also show signs of
severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing or weaving –
behaviour not found in healthy elephants in the wild. The lack of exercise and the years spent standing in
one position on hard concrete amid their own waste lead to painful and
crippling foot ailments and arthritis.
You can help these
elephants! Write to Minister of Forests Patangrao Kadam and ask him to help
Sunder get to a sanctuary. Take action now!
Posted by PETA
@Fiona Ingram Please read the update here: http://bit.ly/14nx2fl.
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