Free the Elephants! PETA Founder to be ‘ Chained, Beaten’

For Immediate Release:
17 November 2016

Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382; [email protected]
Neerja Khede +91 9820787382; [email protected]

Ingrid Newkirk Flies to India, Will Appeal for Release of Elephants Imprisoned in Temples to Protect Everyone’s Safety

Mumbai – To urge the government to end the suffering of elephants in temples, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India Founder Ingrid Newkirk plans to make a physical appeal in Mumbai on Monday. Wearing grey clothing, she will be “chained” inside a decorated structure resembling the pillars of a temple and “beaten” by a mahout using an “ankus”. Beside her, a sign will read, “For God’s Sake: Stop Chaining Elephants”. She decided to travel to India after watching two documentaries about the plight of captive elephants in the country: Where the Elephant Sleeps by Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky and Gods in Shackles by Sangita Iyer.

When:             Friday, 18 November, 2:00 pm

Where:           On the pavement opposite Bombay Blue Restaurant and Copper Chimney on K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

“Elephants who are abused cannot bless – they can only curse. These intelligent, sensitive individuals belong with their families, not in chains”, says Newkirk, who grew up in India. “PETA is calling for all enslaved elephants to be rescued and released into reputable sanctuaries.”

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to … use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – has documented that elephants in temples are typically beaten into submission. They are rarely given adequate food, water, or veterinary care, and the years spent standing in one position on hard concrete surfaces can lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis.

Denied everything that’s natural and important to them, captive elephants often exhibit signs of severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing, and weaving. Unsurprisingly, it’s not uncommon for them to lash out in frustration, injuring and even killing nearby humans. According to figures compiled by the Heritage Animal Task Force, captive elephants have killed 526 people in the last 15 years in Kerala alone.

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