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PHOTOS and VIDEO: Sunder Blossoms

Written by PETA

Posted 06-25-2014, 07:25 PM | 167 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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  • Jim Duke

    Just brilliant to see how well Sunder is getting on after such a short time. What a wonderful forgiving nature he must have-after all the abuse he suffered fro most of his life. When I think of the harrowing footage I saw of him in Nov/Dec 2013and these happy photos I get quite emotional. How is his wound getting along? The last picture I saw of it it looked like it was coming along nicely. That’s our boy!! Thank you so much for the photos and video of him in the pond. Thank you for giving him the love and attention which he so desperately needs to heal. Superb.

  • Suzanne Kerr

    Just love these pics .. esp the way he touches baby Shiva. Thank You Peta & everyone who made this possible. x <3 x

  • Seema Vaid

    Thanks, much thanks PETA … it is true .. Sunder means so much to us all. He actually is a symbol of hope against all odds and that this is how elephants in captivity should live … Please help Mali and Tania

  • Marianne Mattinson

    So so wonderful to see. Go Sunder – enjoy your life now.

  • So so happy for Sunder, I’m crying just to see him finally enjoying freedom!!!! God Bless Sunder!!!!

  • Maria

    Thank you PETA for the updates.

  • To see Sunder so happy and well cared for warms my heart to no end. I want to thank all those people who made this possible. Although not an easy journey, the end has certainly made it all worth while. He is free in a wonderful sanctuary with other elephants for companionship and good caretakers to make sure his needs are met. His joy is palpable from the photos and video. Thank you!

  • Carolina

    I’m inspired by this beautiful boy! All his ever known in his live till know is abuse form human. Yet know he shows love, tenderness, happiness, and even the ability to forgive humans. He kisses and hugs his new family, and still is gentel to take a coconut or walk with care giver. I love the total pleasure in his face as he closes his eyes to drink. Love you Sunder!

  • Joanna

    It’s so wonderful to see him like this, and to see that he is beginning to trust his new carers…after all he has gone through that must be such a difficult thing for him to do..

  • Judy Hayden

    I am so happy to see these pictures of sweet Sunder. He looks so happy. Thanks to all the wonderful people that saved him, he can live his life just being a happy elephant.

  • Micky V

    So beautiful.

  • Beth Lyons

    This is the best video ever. I’m so elated foe Sunder!!! Thank you PETA India for all your hard work and perseverance . Now let’s free Mali!!!!

  • Maria Sweeney

    Thank you PETA for rescuing Sunder, I have tears of joy watching this photos, he looks so happy.I’m praying Mali will be next. God bless you all.

  • Judi Reynolds

    Seeing Sunder enjoying his new life is wonderful! I am so thrilled to see his fight for freedom become reality. To know he will now be treated with the care he deserves and that he has other elephants for company has made me so happy! A big THANK YOU to everyone on the ground in India who made this happen and who continue to help him! Well done! <3

  • Doortje Voss

    super voor Sunder en wat een goed werk hebben jullie verricht RESPECT

  • JillLi

    Thank you – Thank you – Thank you – Sunder must feel as though he is in heaven… on earth… and he would be right !! ~ Make new memories you handsome boy… leave the past in the past where it belongs ! ~ Great job Team PETA ~ Trunks UP!!! <3

  • Chenie Kaur

    I’m so touched seeing Sunders’s pictures. Very happy the petition has given Sunder justice. I’m trying to convince more friends to sign petitions against cruelty to animals..

  • Usha M Nair

    PETA you did a wonderful job in giving such a beautiful free life to sunder…. you all a great group next to God….

  • Alberta Mayo

    THANK YOU!!! everytime I watch Sunder’s torture I can’t, don’t, or won’t understand WHY???? Again THANK YOU for his Freedom!!!!

  • Autumn Love

    Finally free & protected. Tears of pure joy!!!

  • Caroline

    Sunder began my “formal” relationship with PETA. His situation, and many like him, touched my inner most core to act and commit. It began my commitment to all animals who suffer and are depraved, beaten, dishearterned, tortured, all under the human hand. I have made a lifetime commitment to speak up and do whatever it is I can thanks to Sunder, thru PETA and other like org’s. Animals in every land worldwide need our voice and action and I am thankful Sunder caught my eye. His karma and mine are synergetic and I pray everyday for him and his loving caretakers. I am thankful for PETA and their efforts to save his life. xoxo

  • Kim Breakey

    The FSN team was amazing. Thank you to all the world wide advocates that worked tirelessly to free Sunder. This makes my heart so happy for Sunder. Finally, Sunder is free to live the life he so deserves. We love you Sunder! Thank you PETA for all the updates, photos, and videos.

  • Mark C

    God Bless Sunder and all the wonderful people who helped free him and those who are taking such wonderful care of him now. So well deserved and it warms my heart to see him live the life he so richely deserves!!!!!!!!!!!! My heart signs with love and happiness for you Sunder. We Love You!!!!

  • Sujatha Kumar

    so happy to see Sunder relaxing in the pond. He looks so happy and contented! Keep up the good work PETA your untiring efforts have paid off to give Sunder the life he deserves to live!

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

  • MA Capezzuti

    Thank you everyone that fought hard to finally free Sunder!! These pics are so exciting to see!! I am so glad he is slowly learning how to trust! Bless his heart that is now FREE!!!!

  • Leighann Harvey

    Wow crying happy tears for SUNDER ❤️So amazing to see him thriving in his new home ❤️

  • Maureen Sladdin

    Thank you for the updates PETA. To see Sunder being treated with respect is wonderful and to see him looking relaxed is heartwarming. Bless his carers and bless you all.

  • Gayle Burgess- Australia

    Wow.. This brings tears to yur eyes… What a global journey it has been. To all those hearty compassionate angels of the world thank you for NEVER GIVING UP !!!!!

    Soooo beautiful and so simple ………… Freedooooooooom xx

  • Kitty

    I am a student in the United States at the Evergreen State College. I am studying activism this next fall quarter in Sept. I would love to bring my dear sweet Granddaughter of 4 yrs old, and very smart, to see Sunder. I would like to stay for a period of time to help you with Sunder. And, by that way learn as much as I possibly can about Sunner’s life, and your organization. Bless you all. See you in the future. Please tell me any information that you think I might need to know to persue this dream.. Thank you, Kitty

    • PETA

      Hi Kitty, that’s lovely! Please e-mail JalajK@petaindia.org. She’ll be able to guide you if you’d like to intern with us. You can check out this link for further information on our internship programme: http://bit.ly/15n2t9t. Thanks!

  • Christine Warne

    this is one of the most beautiful posts i have seen…thank you thank you i am near to tears in happiness for him

  • Excellent news , like all the pictures but especially Sunder gets a coconut from a caretaker he looks relaxed , happy and his eyes seem relieved and at peace a sort of calmness for once.

    Thanks Peta for keeping us involved in Sunder Progress. Love the pictures and was a nice surprise to actually have a video of him. Please continue to keep us informed.

  • Linda Dent

    Thank u to everyone who has made this possible, how incredibly awesome!!!!!!

  • I’m thrilled with Sunder’s new home — but when will the chains finally come off?

    • PETA

      Please read the FAQ about Sunder where it explains why he is currently restrained: http://bit.ly/1i3bwXZ. Thanks!

  • KUlal Yadav

    Hii Sunder

  • Anjum

    I am so happy Sundar….you have that smile on your face which brightens my life.

  • Pat Goldyn

    Wonderful to see Sunder wade in pond and be with others of his kind. Now he is learning that people can be kind.

  • Mary Jo Manes

    what I want to know is why does a temple need an elephant. And I thought this religion was supposed to be promoting kindness!

    • PETA

      Many temples keep elephants outside their doors to give blessings to visitors, but the way elephants are kept and treated here in India violates almost all norms.

  • Gene Castro

    Thank you PETA….. and thanks to everybody who signed the petition!!!!! this is a gift for all animal lovers!!!!!

  • I am happy for him i wish some day people understand love and respect to other species.

  • I am happy for him he lives in paradise I hope some day people understand love and respect to other species

  • Melissa Green

    Beautiful photos of our beautiful boy! Thank you do much for sharing and keeping us updated with his progress. Sunder means so much to many people!

  • Andrea

    What a wonderful end! Thank you Peta for the continuous pressure for Sunder’s release.

  • So wonderful to see him adjusting to and enjoying his new life. Keep up with these awesome updates.

  • Tracy Foster

    Tears of joy – thank you so much for these pictures. I am so happy and he looks so much better.

  • Marie Hill

    Omg. I love it He looks so happy. It brings me happy tears

  • Swapna

    Very happy for sunder.. Thanks to Peta

  • Shweta

    Is Lakshmi the same elephant that got rescued during bijlee situation? The one that her owners are threatening to take away?

    • PETA

      No, this is not the same Lakshmi.

  • Margaret Coyle

    the video of SUNDER in the pool is wonderful to see as well as the new photos my eyes are full of tears as I look at these. I bet Sunder can not believe what is happening such joy I can not thank PETA enough and all the wonderful people involved with his release THANK YOU ALL

  • Shweta

    Adorable he is and the rest of the clan… Love them to bits… Now I’m happy! Great job team peta

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