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Paul McCartney Pleads for Elephant

Written by PETA

Posted 07-26-2012, 02:39 PM | 70 Comments

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!

Commenting is closed.
  • Kieran Duggan

    Terrible cruelty to these majestic creatures most stop immediately!

  • TamaraCernando

    Sir Paul how compassionate you are to make a trip to India to plead to release the elephant
    I love your elephant song
    I love elephants too
    I do not eat animal ‘s. meat coz I love animals
    Thank you Sir Paul McCartney

  • Andy

    It seems to be an infect, nearly situations with real humans,

  • Nancy Harvey

    Thank you Sir Paul McCartney for the part you played in the rescue is Sunder. I’d like to thank everyone involved with this tremendous work in rescuing Sunder. This is team work…the most powerful display of love.

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    A esto le llaman VIDA!!!! Is this life??!!! #stopcrueldy

  • Erika-G

    @Fiona Ingram Please read the update here:

  • Fiona Ingram

    This cruelty is not part of the Hindu religion. The little I know of Hinduism has led me to believe that Hindus love an respect life and will not even kill insects. This is shocking. Please advise what has happened to Sunder?

  • Ronse Veronique

    is Sunder free yet??????????

  • Giuseppe Spezzi

    free the little elephant!

  • Mica

    Yes I agree a holocaust to wipe out all the bad people on this earth who abuse animals and make them suffer! Especially in China who make animals really suffer. Poor elephant lets hope it is released as soon as possible.

  • Claudia Verso



    Thank you Paul for exposing this horrific treatment of Sunder and other baby elephants!

  • J. Wolski

    This temple and the people who placed Sunder there are “sadists,” and, Sunder, the tortured victim, is their “masochist.” Why is this temple allowed to engage in this abusive animal role-playing relationship? Why is this temple allowed to portray India and its religions in such a PERVERSE light? The World is Watching and would simply like the non consenting victim to be released into a sanctuary, such as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (this is a solution). This backwards and “frustrated” temple cannot provide food, water and care for this animal, or have a normal and godly relationship with it, so release it!! Sunder would be better in the woods than with these men and their UNNATURAL animal games. Mr. Kadam and all the characters involved enjoy watching and participating in animal abuse so that is why they immerse themselves in it on a daily basis in their temples. Now everybody knows what they do.

  • Sandra

    i am so sad and i am sick that in todays world a beautiful elephant you would allow this to go on .stop this my daughter is so hurt by todays world and loves all animals but elephants are her favourite and mine

  • Reenie Rushton

    What more can be done other than pleading? Surely there must be a way to pre-empt this abuse, its horrific and shameful… what happened to ‘wish no harm’

  • Sue

    I’m sure, you didn’t know about this item, if not you woud have act against. Please help us to help this elephant and be sure our gratefulness will acompany you.
    Thank you

  • Rhiannon

    This is monstrous.

  • Mary Arthur


  • Mary Dalton

    Please release Sundar and give this elephant a chance in life. We humans can be so cruel. Why not respect the right to a full life for this elephant? For the sake of a true perspective on life stop this abuse.

  • Deb Hume

    This is a country that has no regard for its children (seen all over the world on television working in rubbish mountains) so what do you expect for its animals. Even in temples they have no emotions .Cold sad bad.Someone should sneek in with a gun and euthanise .Then when they get another poor elephant replacement act again quickly.

  • Nahanni

    the poor animals!

  • Nemisha

    I most sincerely hope that a holocaust wipes out all HUMANS from earth. The only species the world is better off without.

  • Esther Seyfried

    Please don’t allow such cruelty. Remember that animals feel pain just the same as humans do.

  • Pam Fioretti

    Appalling, heartbreaking, and disgusting – no civilised people could be capable of such monstrous cruelty. If only we had many more like Paul McCartney.

  • Donna Dixon

    Thank you so much Sir Paul! Has anyone gotten a response?? or do we know how Sunder is doing? He MUST be rescued from that hell hole! (Can people really get confused what is God and what is not??)

  • Peggy Coffey

    if God condoned the way you treat these elephants you would not have to put chains on them they would want to live with you.

  • Deepika Sadasivan

    If the govt. really cared about animals, this lovely being would not have been in this condition. There are so many Sunders,and there is so much cruelty inflicted on all types of animals, it’s truly appalling. We Indians are the most hypocritical race. Poojas and visits to the temple takes place like there’s no tomorrow and right after that some form of torture is doled out to these speechless, helpless animals. Truth be told, we are the animals, for we do not know how to live in peace and harmony amongst ourselves.

  • Pg

    go Paul McCartney

  • Lorraine Thistlethwaite

    this is sad the elephant should be worshiped not beaten these people are meant to love animals.

  • Simi

    plz let them b free

  • Calvin Ferns

    Grief in the name of god to the most worshipped god in Maharashtra ..

  • Sailesh Ghelani

    Stop this cruelty to God’s creatures. No divine being would sanction such inhumanity.

  • Shruti Seshadri

    This is sick! No God would like to be orshipped like this! This has to end!

  • Lina Barbieri

    A truly evolved being does not torture nor “use” other living creatures. Life should be respected and cherished. There is already too much pain on this planet. Please spare a thought for the innocents.

  • Mugdha Dokhale

    For the sake of humanity, stop this abuse……

  • Susan Scott

    Ganesha would be appalled

  • Manohar

    I request the Maharashtra govt to take action against the mahout and release the baby Elephant.

  • Mary Stephanie Rost

    This is so BABARIC and CRUEL! And so WRONG please do the right thing.

  • Mary Stephanie Rost

    This is so BABARIC and CRUEL! And so WRONG please do the right thing.

  • Elizabeth Nolen

    Please take care of this poor elephant, and show that all humans are not evil. Thank you.

  • Rachna

    Please stop immediately this abuse to this helpless and voiceless elephant baby…. save some same…… human kind ( what you dont understand about the word kind?) set this free to a local reserve where he can be the wild

  • Tamara Heikalo

    A petition must be started to stop this horrendous cruelty to ALL elephants, and all OTHER animals!!!! You can see the fear and pain in this elephant’s eyes!! How can the photographer take these pictures and not help this creature!?

  • Barbara

    I am horrified at the diabolical treatment of Saunder and other elephants in India.
    Hopefully someone will come to their senses and free this poor animal from captivity and provide necessary veterinary treatment

  • Heather

    PKLEEEAAASSSEEE release this poor elephant to somebody who can care for him …………

  • Josh Alan Friedman

    Please honor Sir Paul’s request, and release this poor elephant to a sanctuary.

  • Danette Garbi

    “I have seen photographs of elephants, that are kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes”, “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 all elephants out.”

  • Annie BRION


  • Deborah

    Hi! I just wrote the Minster of Forest a very charming plea to help Sunder. I adore Paul McCartney even more now…if that is possible. Hang in the Sunder. LOVE and PEACE!




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