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HC Orders Sunder’s Release to a Sanctuary

Written by PETA

Posted 04-07-2014, 01:00 PM | 501 Comments

Today, in a landmark judgement, the Honourable Bombay High Court ruled in favour of PETA India by upholding the implementation of the order dated 21 August 2012 that had been passed by the Joint Secretary (Forests), Government of Maharashtra to release the well-known and much-abused young elephant Sunder to a sanctuary.

More than 2.2 lakh people from around the globe wrote to authorities seeking Sunder’s release through action alerts on PETA affiliates’ websites. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Pamela Anderson, Arjun Rampal, R Madhavan, Gulshan Grover and many others took to Twitter or helped in other ways with the campaign for his release.

The court allowed the writ petition filed by PETA and dismissed the appeal filed by the Member of Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore, who had given Sunder as a “gift” to the Jyotiba temple in Kolhapur. The court also refused to stay its order, even though the senior counsel representing Kore requested as much. PETA was represented in the matter by Senior Counsel Shiraz Rustomjee and Counsel Rohan Rajadhyaksha, who were instructed by K Ashar & Co. Advocates & Solicitors, which was on record for PETA. Sunder is now slated to be transferred to the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) in Bangalore.

The Jyotiba temple came into possession of Sunder in 2007, but after constant chaining and beatings came to light, 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 to a sanctuary on 21 August 2012 and 9 November 2012, respectively. However, those orders were never carried out, and Sunder was then spirited away at the behest of Kore and hidden in an old poultry shed, where he remained in chains. In December 2013, PETA obtained video footage showing that his mahout was violently beating him, and veterinarians and elephant experts who examined Sunder found him scarred, wounded and chained so tightly that he couldn’t lie down.

PETA India is now calling on Maharashtra Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Sarjan Bhagat to implement the court’s order quickly, before Sunder can be harmed again.

The campaign for his release spanned 21 months, as people in India and around the world worked to save him from his abusers. PETA thanks everyone who sent letters to authorities calling for his release and who helped with the campaign in other ways. PETA will keep working until Sunder is safe and happy in his new home.

Commenting is closed.
  • Mulas Enzo

    Sunder deserves freedom ‘, especially’ cause he did not deserve to be captured

  • Brenda Van Loggem

    Please get this elephant to safety!!!

  • Ronny Hartono

    stop this madness

  • Tricia Ceniza

    Poor elephant :( pls save sunder from torture




    Please release Sunder to the Wildlife Sanctuary and block Vinay Kore’s appeal as he has abused this elephant for too long


    Please block the appeal from Vinay Kore who is not the legal owner of Sunder and kept at his property illegally PLEASE FREE SUNDER IMMEDIATELY TO AN ANIMAL SANTUARY QUICKLY how can this man Vinay Kore keep this animal on his property illegally there are 2.2 million people want Sunder’s release to the Sanctuary

  • Dan Fields

    Please release this innocent , sentient, Magnificent animal free to the love and care of humans who honor and want to heal and take care of Sunder at the Sanctuary. Please

  • Tyrone

    Stop this cruelty towards animals and keep up the good work Peta.

  • Christine Tobin

    Good work peta. Thank god for organizations such as your.

  • Eva Graham

    Why has Sunder who has a court order to be moved to a sanctuary still not been moved.He now has a massive sore on his leg and in terrible pain with it. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHYthe court order has not been carried out.Are these people who have Sunder and who have abused him terribly above the law?The next thing we will be hearing is that Sunder has died not knowing a life free from beatings and pain and living as an elephant should do without chains and in the company of other elephants happy and content.I cannot believe how some humans can be SO CRUEL to a defensless creature who has the right to a life without suffering inflicted by ignorance.Please implement the court orders without anymore delays as this is cruel beyond belief!!!

  • Galyna Sakhno

    STOP IT!!!

  • Roberta Sais

    respect animals respect life

  • Sonya Gendron

    Please give this beautiful, intelligent, sentient being the blessing of release. We were all given this earth to share and it is shameful for mankind to think otherwise.

  • Shivani

    Please allow him to live a peaceful life . Don’t torture him to death like this. Please save him by letting him go to Bangalore. This will give you peace of mind as well.

  • Maria Marquez

    Please stop this criminal treatment against innocent animals. Just to see it is like an horror feeling and I can’t image the suffering of this poor animal. Stop this hell treatment againt this elephant and let him free well cared in a sacred environment.

  • Stewart Parks

    I would think that since mankind can be judged by the way he treats his animals….words by Mahatma Ghandi… that you would rush to help Sunder be transported to a safe haven.

  • please save and help this animal

  • Demetric Byrd

    Please remove sunder the elephant asap. This magnificent animal deserves peace of mind . A fresh enviorment , other friendly elephants … A camaraderie . Youre tactics are unethical , illegal and has been pursued perpetually . We will fight for the sanctaury that you know Sunder deserves. Make the right choice and become a better person.

  • Bhavna Hira

    where is compassion in us …??

  • Rebeca Palacios

    THanks to PETA for this great labor for help to animals
    Please, to the Autorithies, Governments, and another “sanctuaries” MORE REPECT TO THE ANIMALS!!!

  • Roberto Nini

    save the animals

  • Michele Mendelsohn

    This poor creature has endured too much in his lifetime.
    It’s time to give him a descent PLEASE!

  • Renee

    Set him free you godless creatures. You have NO RIGHT TREAT ONE OF GOD’S ANIMALS THIS WAY!!!

  • David Gray

    If there is a God,he’s on our side.

  • Timea Millei

    Finally he will live in peace and in a nice environment for the rest of his life. Thank you Peta for fighting for him and not giving up on him until he is in safe hands.

  • David Gray

    The simple truth is that India couldn’t care less, this Elephant will die before these ‘people’ do something to stop this. India’s SHAME.

  • Shame on you

  • Silvia Bioli

    free Sunder now
    Silvia Bioli

  • Dora Hardegger

    Sunder has been horribly abused. Please move him to a sanctuary, where he can be safe and never be abused again

  • Laura De La Garza

    This terrible abuse has to be stopped! Please move Sunder to a sanctuary as soon as possible.

  • Antona Grady

    FREE this animal away from these thugs??? Makes me sick…

  • Diana Henriques

    In this century isn´t acceptable this type of events. The animal deserves our respect! we are not superior of them!

  • Uta Seier-Maltz

    Please release the well-known and much-abused young elephant Sunder to a sanctuary.

  • Thomas Stiller

    put this fucking owner on a chain!

  • Thomas Stiller

    put the fucking owner on a chain and let him die !

  • Susan Mitruk

    We have a moral duty to fight aggression, especially against those that have no choice.

  • Ramesh

    Msg for PETA India.

    Please carry on your crusade relentlessly and with full conviction for the immediate release and relocation of Sunder, to Bangalore.May God bestow success on your efforts.

  • Anushka

    I am beside myself that people who know about Karma and Oneness are still doing such morbid horrific things. this is terrible.

  • Surbhi

    Plz release him soon he need help and the one who are abusing him need serious punishment
    make sure they get punished for such horrible crime,

  • Rosi Brussolo

    My goodness, why won’t they give him up? What perverse pleasure are they getting by torturing him this way? Look at him! Must he die first? Perhaps it would be better than the torture he has to endure. How can anyone justify it, the people that mistreat him must be severely punished!! He deserves TLC for the rest of his life. Please save him NOW!!!!! Steal him away in the middle of the night if you have to. I wish I had the means to do more that just sign a petition and vent my frustration …

  • Tanya Mullay

    Please save Sunders!

  • Devyani Tewari

    It is indeed very painful to see how man can be such a potential threat to the lovely animals created by God.. Sundar deserves every right to live a life free from any kind of torture. Kindly get him shifted to the sanctuary ASAP

  • Cristina Tirelli

    Sunder has been horribly abused. Please move him to a sanctuary, where he can be safe and never be abused against.

  • Edeltraut Renk

    Please have compassion for Sunder,this poor wounded elephant. Thank you.

  • Daria


  • Anubrati Mitra

    We need to help them…..

  • Mimi

    Kindly implement the court’s decision so the elephant won’t be harmed again.

  • Dilzad

    why does Sunders condition seem to be getting worse, what is PETA doing abt this

  • Suvarna

    We are waitng to get Sunder release as soon as possoible & that will be the happiest day for us to see him enjoying the freedom.


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