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PHOTOS and VIDEO: Sunder Blossoms

Written by PETA

Posted 06-25-2014, 07:25 PM | 145 Comments

Sunder is settling into his lush green new home at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP). Before the Supreme Court ruled in PETA’s favour for Sunder’s rescue, the elephant spent his days abused and in isolation. Now, Sunder has friends of his own species, gets coconuts for treats and even got the opportunity to splash around in a natural pond for the first time in his life!

Because Sunder endured violent beatings and solitary confinement for much of his life, his new caretakers are still handling him cautiously and keeping him lightly restrained. Sunder is also still recovering from the massive wound that was on his leg – caused by heavy chains – which is now healing. Veterinarians with PETA’s sister organisation Animal Rahat have been at BBP since Sunder’s first day there in order to help with his transition and report that the elephant is showing positive signs of progress.

Sunder is also increasingly being permitted to interact with the park’s 13 other elephants, and he will eventually join their happy herd. Once he has recovered and adjusted, he will be able to roam the forest, streams and ponds in the park with his new family.

Sunder seems to think this drink of water is hitting the spot.

Sunder seems to think this drink of water is hitting the spot.

Sunder cools off with Lakshmi.

Sunder cools off with Lakshmi.

Sunder gets a coconut from a caretaker.

Sunder gets a coconut from a caretaker.

Sunder takes a walk with a caretaker.

Sunder takes a walk with a caretaker.

Sunder gives Lakshmi a kiss.

Sunder gives Lakshmi a kiss.

Sunder and Lakshmi have lunch.

Sunder and Lakshmi have lunch.

Sunder is kept close to his new family.

Sunder is kept close to his new family.

Sunder steps forward to touch baby Shiva.

Sunder steps forward to touch baby Shiva.

Watch this heart-warming video of Sunder enjoying a bath in a pond for the FIRST time after his rescue. Sunder loves being in water and using his trunk as a snorkel.

Read our FAQs to learn more about Sunder’s journey, and check back here often for more updates on his progress.



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  • Bonnie Dugan

    I followed Sunder’s story which was the worst. So happy that he is in a wonderful situation & will now lead a normal life. Unfortunately, there are other elephants in the dire situation Sunder was in; hopefully, some good person will get them moved as a costly venture. No animal should be abused.

  • Trudy Schulten

    It is indeed heartwarming to see the animal in an atmosphere wich extremely friendly.

  • Olivia De Bruyn

    He look so happy!!!

  • Lovely to see this. Keep the updates coming.

  • Mary

    Can you rescue other elephants too?

  • Gunn

    It is so good to see.

  • LaraMW

    I’m so so glad he’s free now :D
    I hate seeing people beating animals! I loved seeing the pictures and all! Congratulations!!

  • Danny

    This is truly heartwarming. Thank you PETA and to all who lobbied for Sunder’s release.

  • Belhadj

    That’s good to see that someone is doin’ something for those animals, congratulations.

  • Stanka


  • Susanna

    This makes me so happy! He seems so peaceful and happy. Melts my heart. Can’t wait for more pictures, videos and updates

  • Luisa Malgaroli

    That’s the way have to be for the elephants and the animals kept in captivity (circus, zoo …). THEY WANNA TO BE FREE!!!!

  • Susanne Fritz

    so nice pics ……i love elephants and all animals…..

  • Adrian

    Great job all of you … brings tears to my eyes seeing some of the stuff that’s go on in the world.

  • Yvette Mellet

    Wonderful I have no words

  • Jerry

    superb ! love you guys for this !

  • Alisha

    Thank you PETA for saving our wildlife one day at a time.

  • Marta

    beautiful gift freedom. i hope that oeople will stop abusing animals in aby ways

  • Felix

    U should post about deforestation due to palm oil plantation because its the source of why there is exoctic animal like orang-outan, tiger, elephant and more in circus…inform people about what is deforestation and how they can stop “supporting” the deforestation.tell them what is with palm oil and whitout.(you may say were here tobdefend animal right but as i was saying , its all link to money , palm oil is money).Indonesia and Malaysia are the two country im talking about…sometimes it just break my heart earing they burn forest to plant palm (that is a slow and painfull way to die form animal…) and i feel like nothing is happening against this form of global warming.tell Obama to move his ass and do his job of president, he has the power to stop this, TO STOP ANIMAL SLAVERY AND ABUSE (im 14 and if i understand this(how animal are treat) evryone should…thanks for replying, continu the great jod (im from quebec btw)

  • Diane Ault-Fleury

    So Happy to see him in such a wonderful place!! I remember reading his story and it broke my heart! I am hoping this is how our signing petitions give a voice to the voiceless! Thank you PETA and to all the other organizations working together to improve the lives of the neglected and abused!!

  • Diane Ault-Fleury

    I remember reading Sender’s story and seeing the pics & videos of his abuse! I didn’t hesitate to sign the petition. So Happy and Thankful to see him in such Uplifted spirits!

  • Mona

    thank you PETA for all the hard work you do to save the elephants from abused and cruelty

  • Hennie Bezuidenhout

    Absolutely heartwarming to see…why can’t it always be like that with ALL animals?

  • Vadi

    Great going Sunder :) Our prayers are with you . Enjoy the life.
    PETA you guys are doing great work :) God bless you guys.

  • Anouk Couplez

    Thank you. We love you sunder

  • i would like to see the chains off of his legs asap as he has had them for years the first priority is to get them off now

  • Jan V.

    Thank you so much for the update. It’s very heartwarming and look forward to video’s in the future when Sunder starts interacting with more of the herd. Woohoo!! Thanks for all your work PETA and for Animal Rahat’s (spelling?) efforts.

  • PETA

    Please read the FAQs here:

  • Margaret Coyle

    has Sunder been taken off the loose chains yet? if not when is that likely to happen.

  • S Ferns

    PETA Congratulations and thank you for all the wonderful effort and caring. I pray that you will all be blessed!!!

  • Tracy

    Thank you PETA for all your instant hard work and I just hope that more elephants and other abused animals in circuses can be rescued from their demonic trainers and the horrific lives they are forced to live and can come to a lovely place like this. Please keep up the excellent work you so PETA

  • Mary Branch

    It is hard to believe this poor animal suffered for 15 years in an abusive environment. I’m not sure what the circumstances were that landed him in such a terrible life. I cannot seem to find any information on that. I am hopeful but still anxious for his welfare.

  • Tracey

    PETA, thank you for freeing Sunder, he looks so happy.
    What are you going to do about the 3,000 abused domestic elephants in India? Are you going to help to free them?

    • PETA

      Hi Tracey, there are various organisations working to rehabilitate abused elephants. We are doing our best too.

  • Susan Frudd

    Such uplifting photo’s and Sunder looks to be settling into his well deserved new life, which I hope and pray will be filled with joy and new friends for him. He and all animals deserve and should have peace and not be under constant threat from cruelty and suffering. “Happy Days” Sunder x

  • Phil Edel

    Thank you for posting this update, finally some great news after sop many months hoping for this outcome! You made more than my day.

  • Janet Cope

    He has so much love to give although he has known nothing but beatings, torture, pain and neglect. His old owners need beaten for treating him so bad.

  • Mina

    Thank you PETA for all your hard work and dedication to these precious creatures. They deserve to live free and peaceful as this is their planet to. I’m so deeply happy for Sunders happy ending and pray she nor any animal will have to endure such torturous and inhumane conditions!

    There is another issue that needs PETA and it’s supporters help! Please see the attached link and try to help these poor animals before to many of them are needlessly killed!

    • PETA

      @Mina Could you please send us these details at We will get back to you soon. Thanks!

  • Giana Peranio-Paz

    So happy to see Sunder free and happy, being loved not abused, and can’t help feeling proud that we all did this collectively and that united we stand and can really do great things! Keep up the good works Care2!


    What a transformation! Sunder can now be happy! Thank you to all who helped make this possible!

  • Len

    This is a wonderful, wonderful story in that this poor elephant, one of thousands being abused by humans, has has such a happy ending for Sunder. These are just heart warming pictures of Sunder and give us new hope for all the other animals suffering at the hands of humans with the blessing of officialdom. Look toward to watching Saunders progress and her eventual total freedom to walk with her peers, totally free at last and surrounded by caring humans ..

  • Tracy Dunham

    Please help the elephants at woodland park zoo in Seattle. Zoo officials have said that Watoto will go to another zoo. Citizens want him to go to a sanctuary! Please help

  • Nicole Korensky

    Why does Sunder still have a chain around one of his feet? I thought he was completely free in a chain-free sanctuary?

  • Ashie

    I have followed Sunder’s story closely…Now just look at him – he is so happy with his family – I have tears of joy…….. Thanks to all the good guys who made this possible for Sunder and thank you so much Peta for helping Sunder and other animals!!!

  • Terri Lawson

    Hi to you all at petaindia!! Thank you so much for the wonderful work that you all do with these dear Elephants!! I love them all dearly, they really do touch my heart. Hopefully I will be able to visit soon and meet you all, keep up the good work!! Fondest love to you all, and the biggest cuddles to all those beautiful Elephants there with you <3 <3

  • Becky Ewers

    Overwhelming to see him free and happy!! Enjoy your new home and family sunder god bless you sweetheart xxx

  • Bhagyashri

    I must say… Hats off PETA Team..God Bless You All for saving Sunder’s life and for giving him his FREEDOM which every animal deserves on this Earth…

  • Dina

    My heart soars seeing Sunder being with his new family and playing in the pond. I am almost crying happy tears right now. Sunder is so adorable in the pond. He reminds me of a child having the time of his life. Thank you to all those so committed in helping Sunder and making his and other elephants lives better.

  • Karin

    So happy to see Sunder enjoying his new Life!! To see he finally looks happy !Knowing he wont ever get beaten or abused again, makes me feel happy, and best of all: the fact that all of us who signed for his release shows that there is not much you can do by yourself but TOGETHER we can do soooo much! Sunder is a living proof of that!! I wish for him to recover soon so that he`ll be able to walk free with his new elephant-family and live the Life as an elephant should, Sunder so deserves it! Thanx to all of you people that now handles Sunder, teaching him human contact doesnt have to hurt,! I love watching him in his new Environment, see him being taken care of the way he should! Hope soon he will be healthy enough to be chainfree!! Thank you for the updates on Sunder Cant wait to see more! let us continue supporting Changes for temple elephants,and who knows?, maybe we`ll soon see other temple elephants being given their freedom, together we can do it! Wish all the best for Sunder and his new caretakers!


    How nice to see this elephant getting to enjoy life , after having had to endure so much cruelty . Thank you Peta .

  • Kathryn Giallonardo

    I’m so in love!! God is good. And god bless all of you working. To protect these loves.


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