Urgent Plea: Replace Elephant Rides with Electric Cars

PETA India has written to the Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister for Tourism, Art and Culture, and Archaeology and Museums Diya Kumari calling for Gouri’s rehabilitation and for all elephant rides to be replaced with eco-friendly motorised vehicles, as was recommended in a report of the committee constituted by the Project Elephant division of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, per an order of the Supreme Court of India.

In the latest attack, recorded on the CCTV of Amer Fort, Gouri can be seen grabbing the tourist in her trunk, swinging her vigorously, and then slamming her to the ground, breaking her leg. The mahout can also be seen falling off the elephant’s back. When Gouri attacked a shopkeeper, the man suffered from broken ribs and other broken bones.

The Plight of Malti: Exploited Elephant Deserves Sanctuary Care

Another elephant named Malti (“no 44”), until recently used for rides at Amer Fort – which have temporarily stopped due to PETA India’s efforts – also remains in captivity, putting tourists at risk, even though a team of veterinarians constituted by the High Power Committee of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India recommended her rehabilitation at a sanctuary, the government body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) previously noted in a report that she shows signs of anxiety, and a Rajasthan government health certificate labelled her unhealthy and unsound. Her handlers beat her with sticks at Amer Fort in June 2017 and publicly subjected her to violence again in March 2019. PETA India has been appealing for years to have her sent to a sanctuary for specialised care.

Abuse, Confinement, and Exploitation for Rides

Elephants used for rides are controlled through pain and fear and chained when not in use, so the frustration of being treated this badly can and does cause some of these sensitive animals to run amok or lash out.

The nightmare of cruel captivity never ends for elephants used for rides: mahouts routinely control them using wooden sticks, chains, and ankuses (in violation of the directives of the Rajasthan High Court) and even pierce their sensitive ears and drill holes in their tusks to pull them around. In nature, elephants can walk vast distances foraging for food, but captive elephants near Jaipur are tied or constantly chained when not in use and forced to stand on concrete floors, which causes painful foot problems. Even elephants who tested positive for tuberculosis or who are visually impaired or injured have been forced to carry people on burning pavement under the blazing sun.

Urgent Call: Rehabilitate Gouri and Malti and Ban Elephant Rides Now!

Gouri and Malti both have a history of attacking either humans or other animals out of the frustration of being forced to give rides. When elephants attack humans, beatings and other punishments typically follow, which only make the animals more frustrated and upset. Please join us in requesting that authorities immediately send Malti and Gouri to sanctuary and replace elephant rides with electric vehicles.