Award-winning actor Sonakshi Sinha fired off a letter on behalf of PETA India calling on Rajasthan Minister for Forest, Environment, Youth Affairs and Sports Gajendra Singh Khimsar to relocate an elephant, known only as “Number 44”, to a rehabilitation facility for urgent care after a group of American tourists witnessed eight men violently beating her at Amer Fort.
Sinha’s letter follows PETA India’s complaint to the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Rajasthan Forest Department which resulted in a show-cause notice issued to Number 44’s custodian, Wasid Khan, holding him responsible for the abuse. The notice stated that an investigation carried out by the Regional Forest Officer for Jaipur Zoo, as well as a photograph supplied by the American witness, indicated that the elephant was treated cruelly, in apparent violation of numerous animal-protection laws. The Jaipur police also registered a First Information Report against unidentified men under Sections 429 and 289 of the Indian Penal Code for mistreating the elephant and putting public safety at risk. However, Khan was later allowed to use her for rides.
Captive elephants, such as the ones forced to give rides in Jaipur are often beaten mercilessly, denied adequate food and veterinary care, and suffer from foot problems and arthritis because of long periods spent standing on hard surfaces. Many develop neurotic forms of behaviour and die prematurely.
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