Expert Arrives to Help Sunder, BBP

Posted on by PETA

Margaret Whittaker, an internationally renowned animal behaviourist who specialises in elephants, recently made her first visit to the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) in Bangalore with PETA and Animal Rahat veterinarians to train park mahouts in managing Sunder and other elephants using positive reinforcement techniques and no chains. Such techniques are uncommon in India.

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Margaret observing Sunder.

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Margaret, caretakers and PETA and Animal Rahat veterinarians with Sunder.

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Margaret attentively watching Sunder.

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Sunder grazing in the forest with his friend Lakshmi.

Sunder is a formerly abused “temple elephant” who was beaten and kept tightly chained alone before he was rescued, following a PETA campaign and a Supreme Court decision to send him to Bangalore.

Whittaker began her career with animals at the Houston Zoo, where she developed positive reinforcement training techniques. For the past 16 years, she has been a behavioural consultant for Active Environments, working with zoos and sanctuaries in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

PETA is also working with BBP to fence in a 49.5-hectare forested area as well as an enclosure where male elephants can be kept chain-free during musth (a period of sexual urge) instead of using the traditional method of keeping male elephants in chains while they’re in musth.

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