As previously reported, during a hearing for a High
Court of Bombay petition filed by PETA asking that the Maharashtra Forest
Department implement its own order – as well as the recommendation from Project
Elephant under the Ministry of Environment and Forests – and retire 14-year-old
elephant Sunder to a sanctuary, High Court HH Justice Kanade and HH Justice
Sonak ordered Maharashtra's Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Sarjan
Bhagat, to adhere to the ministerial order. Bhagat had been asked to submit a
compliance report to the court by 23 December, but during the High Court
hearing on the 23rd, it became clear that he had had failed to adhere to this
order and the deadline.
Sunder spent six years chained at the Jyotiba temple
in Kolhapur, and in spite of the ministerial order calling for his release to a
sanctuary, he was locked in an old, dark poultry shed and chained at the behest
of Vinay Kore, a local member of the Legislative Assembly who had given the
elephant as a "gift" to the temple. An undercover investigation recently conducted by PETA resulted in shocking
footage of a mahout (handler) violently beating Sunder.
On hearing various arguments on
23 December, the court adjourned the matter to 21 January 2014.
"The Principal Chief Conservator
of Forests' failure thus far in implementing the court's order means Sunder is
still in chains, virtually unable to move a step in any direction, with the
same mahout who was caught violently beating him in the video that shocked the
world", explains Dr Manilal Valliyate, director of veterinary affairs for
PETA India. "For the sake of his physical and mental well-being, Sunder
needs to be unchained – to be able to roam, swim in ponds and do what is
natural to elephants while being cared for by people who truly have his welfare
The #FreeSunder campaign, which has been supported by Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Paul McCartney,
Pamela Anderson and numerous other stars, will continue until Sunder
is moved to a sanctuary and gets the freedom he so desperately needs and
deserves. You can help by taking action here.
Posted by PETA
Site Tools: Accessibility | Site Map | Subscribe to E-News | Copyright © 2014 PETA India | Read Our Full Policy.
International Sites: | PETA Asia-Pacific | 亚洲善待动物组织 | PETA Latino | Animal Rahat
Navigation: Home | Features | Blog | Donate Now | Action Centre | The Issues | Media Centre | About PETA