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Caught on Video: Elephant Sunder Beaten

Written by PETA

Posted 12-05-2013, 11:31 AM | 229 Comments

An undercover investigation conducted by PETA this week has resulted in shocking footage of a mahout (handler) violently beating Sunder, a 14-year-old elephant at the centre of a PETA petition in the High Court of Bombay, with a thick wooden pole. The video 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 visibly recoils in fear from the weapon-wielding mahout, who continues to threaten him with violence after he has stood.

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, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) 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.

The former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and current Head of Forest Force, SWH Naqvi, has also failed to implement the state and central government orders. Just this week, Kore was reported to have claimed to the media that Sunder is fine and healthy, while Vijay Shelke, Deputy Conservator of Territorial Forests – Kolhapur division, said that “every month a veterinary doctor visits the place to check the elephant” and that “we also guide the mahout and local caretakers”. These claims are in spite of the fact that Sunder’s legs show scarring from abuse, he has a low weight, and he is being forced to stand on concrete all day with no opportunity for exercise, which is essential for elephants’ health.

“He is fearful of the mahout”, says international elephant expert Dr Mel Richardson, who examined PETA India’s video of Sunder. “From what I can see his legs and feet are in bad shape. He is in a dangerous situation and needs relief – no chains, natural substrate, and space to exercise.”

You can help Sunder. Take action to urge authorities to free Sunder to a sanctuary today.

Commenting is closed.
  • Laukik Desai

    Please free this innocent animal !!! It”s heights of cruelty in video..

  • Daniel Tejada

    We need to release the elephant and get jailed those barbarians

  • Leslie


  • Gina Powell

    This is sad and tough to watch. Such a blatant display of cruelty to animals. I feel so sorry for Sunder. Release her to a sanctuary now. This is morally unacceptable.

  • Julie Adler

    Disgusting! Do people have no empathy? I cannot understand this cruelty, this barbarity and unfeeling nature.

  • Miriam Ivaldi

    Los elefantes son seres sensibles e inteligentes, basta de torturarlos, porqué no se azotan ustedes para sentir el dolor que siente el pobre animal?

  • Maria Kagelind

    The whole world is watching this Video where Sever ABUSE/TORTURE take place. free Sunder to a sanctury today!

  • Raquel Buxton

    Please transfer Sunder to the Wildlife SOS
    elephant centre in Mathura immediately!

  • Laurel Mancini

    How shameful. Indian people are supposed to venerate elephants. Elephants are intelligent enough to learn verbal and hand commands. No need to strike them.

  • K

    I honestly do not get it – people in TEMPLE and beating an animal fro 6 years?!? What’s wrong with them? Isn’t the temple about spirit and appreciation??

  • Michael Krupinski

    I would like to beat these 2 guys with that stick. How dare they treat such a loving animal so cruel… God will get them for that in the end…

  • Arlene

    How do people at a Temple that are suppose to be gentle,and peaceable,do such cruel things to an innocent, creature of God,and not have it bother their conscience? Very hypocritical! Have a heart and stop this SHAME!

  • Danielle Batiste

    this need to be taken care of immediately

  • Vic

    Animal torturers should done to them exactly what they do to the animals.

  • Andrew Higgs

    Transfer Sunder to the Wildlife SOS
    elephant centre in Mathura immediately!

  • Barbara Porter

    Animal abuse of any kind has no place in today’s society. This abhorent behavior that some humans seem to think is o.k., when it is not, needs to stop. People need to stand up for all the world’s animals.

  • Chanaka Perera

    I can’t believe Indians doing this to an elephant ? It was Mahatma Gandi who said “a nations greatness is judged by how it’s animals are treated”. Shame on you India M

  • Julie

    This is so bad – please please please release this poor elephant from this horrible horrible place.

  • Joel

    Please release this beautiful elephant to a real sanctuary with other elephants. These animal abusers should be imprisoned and treated in the same manner they have treated this poor animal.

  • Lucie

    sorry … but what is wrong with you …? this is so cruel
    stop now…..

  • Scott

    PETA should use ALL its resources possible to free this poor animal…

  • Heather Davis



    For an elephant to be living in such horrible conditions can drive it mad. Sunder needs to be relocated to an elephant sanctuary where he can get the care he desperately needs.

  • Karen Carter

    get this poor elephant to saftey and get that cruel man charged with animal abuse

  • Robyn Lecesse

    Please help this poor creature.

  • Michael Henderson

    Sunder’s life of tortuous beatings and imprisonment must end immediately, and he must be retired to an elephant sanctuary where he can live free with other elephants.

  • Cynthia Scionti

    I am emploring you to move Sundra to a sanctuary immediately. Striking him with sticks is inhumane.

  • C. Morgan McNeil

    Get that elephant out of there and into a sanctuary where he’ll be safe and cared for.

  • JUDYtr


  • Denise Mitchell

    I cannot believe what I’m seeing and reading! The abuse of this animal is horrific and inexcusable! Have some compassion and do what is right for Sunder. Send him to a sanctuary where they will truly take care of him!

  • Glenda Butler

    Makes me seethe, unbelievable cruelty – please please free this poor animal and others like him – where is safe now?

  • Pandora

    This is torture. Free Sunder to a sanctuary now.

  • Catherine Kaczmarczyk

    The treatment of this majestic creature is a disgrace to the people of India.

  • Karen Ornelas

    PLEASE PLEASE STOP THIS INHUMANITY NOW!! This Poor thing is a living breathing animal that feels PAIN and YOU are a country that doesn’t believe in hurting ANYTHING!!! PLEASE LET HIM GO TO THE SANCTUARY NOW!! GOOD KARMA – LET HIM BE!!

  • Jaime

    somebody take out that piece of shit

  • Vb

    This is deplorable!!! Unforgivable and MUST STOP!

  • Ashishwangh Limki Auvray

    if you enjoy hitting such a mild animal, you are not a man, you’re a monster!

  • Joanne Sevigny

    The defenseless Elephant in chains when he should be FREE!
    Many hugs to SUNDER and i send my love.

  • Jeannine Wietrich

    temple : laissez elephant en liberte , inhumain la maltraitance de ce pauvre animal , Stop !

  • Penelope Ryan

    PLease help this poor innocent. May GOD hear his cries for help!!!!

  • Sanat Ranganathan

    Shame on all those responbsible for such cruelty to this elephant.

  • Laurie

    Free this poor baby elephant!

  • Prof. John Delevoryas

    Please stop this cruelty and take the Indian elephant SUNDER to a sanctuary,where he can have a peaceful existence.He is much too old to work.Thank you.

  • Candice Spangler

    This is beyond inhumane!!! No living thing should be treated so horribly. This needs to stop NOW! Release this poor animal to someone decent, now!!! N

  • ReNay

    Why is it that there is never anyone of authority to watch over these poor helpless animals? This is just heartbreaking! Please release her to some peace and a place where she will be loved.

  • Billie

    Who the hell is that man!!!he is a disgusting pig.. If I ever see him if like to hit him with a stick!!!!!!! Absolute waste of a human!!

  • Bunni Steele

    Please save his poor creature from further abuse. This breaks my heart, reducing me to tears seeing it beaten and suffering. STOP THIS ABUSE and move Sunder to an actual sanctuary where quality of life and respect of that life are boundless. Thank you.

  • Homero

    Please, take a minute of your time and think about the unbearable suffering Sunder is being enduring, he does not deserve it, Free him to a sanctuary as soon as possible, please.

  • Julie Ozias

    Free Sunder to a sanctuary today

  • Melania

    Who the hell beats an elephant!! Poor baby, sick bastards! Justice for this poor elephant please.


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