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PHOTOS: Sunder in His New Home

Written by PETA

Posted 06-06-2014, 03:40 PM | 601 Comments

We are beyond delighted to report that the much-abused young elephant Sunder has arrived at his new home, Bannerghatta Biological Park, where he is to reside by order of the Supreme Court of India.

Park officials have assured PETA that the entire 49.5-hectare forested area for elephants will be fenced in to allow the herd of 13 elephants – which Sunder will join once he has settled down and his serious leg wound caused by long-term painfully tight chaining has healed – to roam freely. Veterinary experts are working to address this wound. We have also gained permission to fund a spacious 1.25 musth area for Sunder.

Sunder has suffered greatly for years. He has a massive injury to his leg, on a joint that will be hard to heal. He has been badly beaten and otherwise abused and so will need to be introduced gently to a different way of being handled, quarantined for health testing and loosely restrained as his injuries and health are assessed and as he comes to trust his new caretakers.

PETA continues to engage with elephant expert advisers in India and abroad in order to help with the transition. We have overcome immense hurdles – including unscrupulous behaviour, the deliberate dissemination of misinformation, attempts at religious blackmail, enormous pressure from sundry quarters, court battles and political corruption – during our efforts to rescue Sunder from the clutches of his physical abusers and mental tormentors.

We are ever so grateful to every single soul who found a way to help and who joined the #FreeSunder campaign, thereby becoming part of this joyful outcome. More than 220,000 people from around the world wrote to authorities seeking Sunder’s release through action alerts on PETA affiliates’ websites. Many celebrities – including Paul McCartney, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Pamela Anderson, Arjun Rampal, R Madhavan, Gulshan Grover, Kapil Sharma and others – took to Twitter or helped in other ways to keep the spotlight on this long campaign for Sunder’s release.

At one point, Maharashtra Minister of Forests Dr. Patangrao Kadam and the Project Elephant division of the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued orders for Sunder’s release, but those orders were ignored. Senior Counsel Shiraz Rustomjee and Counsel Rohan Rajadhyaksha won for Sunder in the Bombay High Court. M/s K Ashar & Co Advocates & Solicitors were the advocates on record for PETA for the cases in the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court, and Senior Counsel Raj Panjwani won the case for Sunder in the Supreme Court.

We thank Suparna Ganguly of the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre for her support of the campaign and MP Maneka Gandhi, who helped us greatly by using her significant authority to end the stalling. We are also thankful to the Maharashtra Forest Department and numerous veterinary and other elephant experts for assisting with Sunder’s move to Bangalore, and to scientist Surendra Verma and animal behaviour consultant Margaret Whittaker for guiding us in other ways.

Most of all, we would like to commend our hardworking staff and supporters who lost sleep, travelled between government offices, briefed lawyers and reporters, took undercover photographs and videos of abuse or helped in other ways.

The elephant care centre at Bannerghatta Biological Park sits in a wonderful natural forest with ponds and streams and will serve as a safe refuge for Sunder. It also has the potential to develop into a world-class facility.

Here are some pictures of Sunder and of his new home:

Sunder is already making himself at home at his new home

Sunder is already making himself at home at his new home.

Other elephants at the park who will soon be Sunder’s friends.

Other elephants at the park who will soon be Sunder’s friends.

Sunder’s soon-to-be new friends going to the lake.

Sunder’s soon-to-be new friends going to the lake.

Sunder's new home 2

More soon-to-be friends of Sunder.

Commenting is closed.
  • Thank god. The boy is home and looks a beautiful place with lots of ele and human friends to watch over him. Would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the people and organisations that worked so hard to get this wonderful ele to freedom. GOD BLESS YOU ALL

  • This is so fantastic. Well done everyone who helped Sunder. I hope he has a long healthy happy life in his new home.

  • Mridul

    Great PETA!..Hats touching to see Sunder free and in his natural environment. ..hope he roars back to life…my heart felt appreciation.

  • Salbel

    I am so proud of all of you you who fought so hard for Sunder. He deserves only the best, well done!!!

  • Joanne

    This is a truly wonderful sight for me after all these months of anguish.

  • Caroline Donkin

    This is a touching story where right and goodness outdid wrong and cruel evilness with a sweet creature of God, Sunder, elephant of India. Thank you PETA and every one of the special and honorable individuals who helped and assisted whether in the forefront or underground to free this innocent elephant from torture and abuse all his life. Sunder Baby the world is conspiring you and every elephant that is abused in the name of religion or for profit or barbaric reasons, be rescued. You Sunder had to bear the painful punishment years to help them. Bless you be happy, be healthy, and most of all have a long relaxing life in your new home. Your energy is with me now that you are safe and ungrateful! Hugs and kisses with love.

  • great success! Thx to everBody who has been involved!

  • Amy Estess Donovan

    Yeaaaay! Bless you all for helping Sunder! Amazing what we can do together. We must continue the battle to protect all our beloved creatures!

  • Ginny Popovich

    I cried and cried when I heard that he was free – But I cried even harder when I saw the pic.s it is totally awesome – I prayed and will continue to pray until every living creature is FREE. This is just so wonderful and I thank PETA and all who helped get Sunder free. Thank you all and GOD BLESS SUNDER AND ALL LIVING CREATURES

  • Nancy Cu Unjieng

    We are SO happy for you, Sunder! May you have many more years of freedom and happiness to roam the sanctuary with your new friends. Many thanks to Suparna G and Maneka G for fast forwarding Sunder’s transfer :-)

  • Nikhil J Kate

    Thank You guys! 😀

  • Bev Wride

    thank you all xxx

  • Mark Bastian

    A very well done to all that pushed for this to happen, I am over the fucking moon to be able to see all this…. Enjoy dude, you certainly deserve it! 😀

  • Christine A Zammitt-Snow

    Thank-you for the update and pictures – he’s going to be so happy in his new home!

  • Judith Smith

    This is such wonderful news it looks lovely I am sure Sunder will be very happy,no more chains or beatings
    I wish him a long and happy life this is what he deserves freedom as this is how he was born Free.

  • Juhi Dixit

    tears of happiness thank you all.

  • Susan Doran

    Thank you so much Peta. You all deserve every bit of the praise you are receiving for helping Sunder like this. You really are very special, and you should all be very proud. I thank you with all my heart.xx

  • Vic

    This is amazing news! I am so happy for Sunder. Amazing work carried out by all who have helped. Hopefully this kind of treatment can be stopped for all elephant / animals one day.

  • Anuradha Partap

    wish every elephant is free from zoos n calf is stolen for human selfishness.

  • Chantal Walters

    Very glad to know Sunder made it to his new abode. I look forward to seeing him unrestrained and hopefully joining the other 13 elephants in freedom and not as displays at the zoo. I look forward to reports on his progress, and I hope that Peta India can keep a watchful eye on Sunder for some time. I understand the difficulties of all sorts that have been surmounted to get Sunder this far, and it is admirable and appreciated. Let us all do what we can to keep the torch burning.

  • Maria Sweeney

    I’m so very thankful and very proud of EVERYONE who helped this poor guy, you are my heroes! I lost sleep thinking of him and this are the best news ever. I hope Mali is next. I will keep supporting you the best way I can.

  • Diana Ross

    Thank PETA India. You have made my day. Every animal is worth fighting for and Sunder needed to be one of them. God bless you all.

  • I am so happy Sunder is now save and cared for, Great Work Everybody Who Worked So Hard For His Freedom :)

  • Chris Ewing

    welcome HOME Sunder!! thank you PETA INDIA!!

  • Roberta Limoli

    I’m so happy for Sunder that she is finally free and able to roam in safety…WONDERFUL…

  • LK

    Darren Barnes works with rehabilitating elephants without cruelty. Please contact him for advice or help for Sunder – email at

  • Judy Malone

    Congratulations at all. This is such a ‘feel good ‘ story , in a world that needs more of them. Sunder has incredible courage and spirit and he is a beautiful poster boy for all of the suffering temple and begging elephants. Hope he sets a precedent for a better life for all. Glad too to see his abusers will be charged.

  • Kongka Passah

    This is a joyful moment for us to see Sunder so happy and safe. Thankyou peta , Maneka Gandhi and all our brothers and sisters who fought for Sunder’s freedom!!

  • JillLi

    Bravo Bravo Bravo ! ! ! ~ Your life is just now beginning Sunder… and freedom looks good on you ! ~ Namaste ! ~

  • Sally

    Thank you PETA India for all you have done! I am so very happy to see Sunder in his new home.

  • Amanda Gibbs

    I write with tears of joy for Sunder…fantastic work by the humans…lots of love to ALL

  • Thank you so very much PETA INDIA,,and all the peoplen involved in the complex laws to move him.x

  • Maria

    What an amazing day for Sunder… His whole new life ahead of him… thankyou so much for saving this dear soul… he deserves only the best from now on.

  • Jean

    Thanks to everyone who helped Sunder move to his new home! I am crying tears of joy. God Bless you Sunder – we love you and I know you will enjoy your new home , , , roaming free , , , bathing in the water and being able to eat and drink and be healthy and happy with your new friends!

  • Sushma Zaveri

    Commendable work done by all congratulations

  • Sharon Dunn

    PETA, thank you and all the support staff for making this happen. This truly is a glorious day. GOD DOES ANSWER PRAYERS!

  • June Billings

    Wonderful news and wonderful photos, Sunder will now have the life he deserves, huge thanks to PETA and all of us on Facebook who campaigned for his release for two years. We hope he has a long happy life.

  • Deborah Hilton

    Wow, I am so pleased! Thank you to all involved x

  • Melissa Briggs

    I am overjoyed for him, it is so tranquil there! Thank you for posting these so quickly, I have been wondering all morning how he is.

  • Trilok

    Thanks to all of you for your great effort

  • I’m sure Sunder will be very happy in his new home. The relocation is nothing short of a miracle! Peace be with you dear Sunder!

  • Aditya K Chalakode

    Finally!!! thank you PETA and everyone who worked to achieve Sunder’s dream. Im very happy and feel very content at looking Sunder enjoying his surroundings.

  • Allison Millward

    This looks like elephant heaven. So very pleased that Sunder is now there and can live a cruelty free life. I hope that his new mahouts lavish him with love and affection and teach him that not all mankind is horrible. Be safe, be happy but mostly be free sweet boy :-)

  • Faith Collins

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Thank you PETA so much you are greatly appreciated for what you did for Sunder and all animals We love you so much Faith:)

  • Tracy Meredith

    I am so overjoyed, Im crying. Thank you, thank you thank you for all your hard work and persistence, it has finally paid off. There is so much evil in this world but so much goodness as well. Im relieved that this elephant has found happeness at last and that this is a happy ending for him. I sent emails, letters and did as much as I possibly could. You are angels for the work that you do. Be safe Sunder and happy in your lovely new home.

  • Wonderful !!! Wonderful !!!! Very Happy !!! Congratulations !!!!

  • Maria Moynes

    one of the most FANTASTIC news of this year,thank you

  • Aishwarya


  • PETA your team is doing grt job ….abused animal realy needs you. Lots of Respect for your every team member an lots of Love for our SUNDER.

  • Chris Glisson

    Hugely elated !!! <3 <3 <3


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