During a recent veterinary inspection by an elephant expert, 14-year-old elephant Sunder was found with what the health examination report calls a “MASSIVE wound … as a result of constant tying with heavy chains”. The expert’s report also states that Sunder should be moved from Kolhapur to an elephant-care centre in Bangalore “on an emergency basis”, as directed by the Bombay High Court. The court had ordered the Maharashtra Forest Department to move Sunder to the centre before the monsoon season.
But Maharashtra Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore – who is not the legal owner of Sunder and has kept him on his property illegally – has attempted to block the order by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court.
PETA has been campaigning for Sunder’s release since 2012 and has been represented before the Supreme Court by leading animal advocate Raj Panjwani.
The finding comes on the heels of the December 2013 video footage showing that Sunder’s mahout beat him with a pole on Kore’s property.
All the paperwork for Sunder’s transfer has been completed, and now the Maharashtra Forest Department simply needs to set a date for the move. The health examination report also stated that Sunder’s wound can be dressed, he is not in musth (a period of sexual urge in elephants that can make them difficult to handle) and he can and should be transported to Bangalore quickly.
If you wish to help, you can write to Maharashtra forest officials at:
The Honourable MK Rao
Chief Conservator of Forests
Office of the Chief Conservator of Forests (Territorial) Kolhapur
Van Vardhan Building
Opposite Principal Post Office
AmbedkarChowk, Tarabai Chowk
Kolhapur 416 003
The Honourable Suresh A Thorat
Additional Principal Chief Conservator Forests (Wildlife West)
Near Old MHB Bus Stop, Forest Quarter
Borivali (W) 400 091
The Honourable Sarjan Bhagat, IFS
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)
Nagpur 440 001