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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.
  • 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!



  • Bruna Portella

    Free Sunder!



  • Martina

    Please rescue this poot elefant Sunder!

  • Elizabeth Rowland-elliott

    How can this cruelty be allowed to happen to a beautiful elephant or to any elephant?
    and in a TEMPLE, a TEMPLE! of all places, what kind of temple is this? the creatures who inflict such cruelty need to remember the Law of Karma!
    I implore you to release Sunder to a sanctuary immediately please.


    release thet baby elephant!!! please

  • Amyf

    “I most respectfully call on you to use your authority to get Sunder out, placed in your protective custody, and eventually integrated into a herd in the forest. … Please know the world is watching and wishing for a happy conclusion.”

  • Doris Marchardt

    Thsi is my third comment !! I strongly feel that it does not make any difference to write to the Indian Ministry because they will not make any difference nor efforts to stop this happen. what I simply do not understand – sorry I am not Indian – who can you pray to Ganesh – the Elephant God !! and at the same time treat an Elephant like this – shame on peoples who do this and may they and their families suffer the same pain. Thank you for posting my comments !!

  • Doris Marchardt

    What has been done guys – has there be any / or any one done something to stop the suffering of this poor baby. I have written an earlier comment but I dont’t think it will be posted nor does it come true. Is anyone updating on the situation – is anyone taking any action. Is there any response from the government – guess not because you did not pay them to do something – isn’t it ??

  • Satish Kole

    i am near 20 km away from this temple. please call me when u need urgent information about this matter


    God please release this precious elephant to people who will love and care for him – please heal the animal abuse in this nation

  • Shreshtha

    Confinement sucks. Keep jumbos out of chains.

  • Ankit Mehta


  • Elise

    Please save Sunder from his abusers, allow him to go to a sanctuary. Elephants deserve to be treated with respect as all creatures in the world. Our parents were taught by society, but today, we are awakening and we want change and respect for all living beings on earth. Thank you for your consideration in this matter, and please act in favor of Sunder. Elise Paul
    1122 Laprairie
    Montreal, Qc, Canada H3K 2V5

  • Manpreet Singh

    Stop it you jerks. Set that elephant free.

  • Harriet Bilinski

    Get Sunder out!

  • Richa Singh

    Animal are not in anyway lesser that human beings. They dont deserve this.

  • Priya

    Please stop harassing animals under any kind of reasons, God is up there and He is watching, you are all answerable to Him one day. Stop being a cruel person and treat animals with love and respect. The world belongs to them as much it is to us. Please try and be a Human… Release Sundar and others like him. My prayers and heart goes out to all the animals like sundar… May God be with you all and bless you with a heart at the earliest.

  • Ashwin Rangarajan

    Please save the elephant and release it to the wild . He belongs to the forest :(

  • Manreet Kaur

    Plz save the elephants plz

  • Divya Gupta

    Free the poor elephant and stop this inhumane treatment to the poor beings who do not have a voice of their own.
    Stop this nonsense.


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