‘Bruised’ Neil Nitin Mukesh Urges Fans to Relate to Elephants Absued for Joyrides

For Immediate Release:
22 January 2016

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Wazir Star Brings Attention to the Plight of India’s Suffering Elephants in New PETA Ad

Mumbai – As he rejoices in the success of his latest box-office hits Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Wazir, actor Neil Nitin Mukesh also wants to draw attention to the cause that is closest to his heart – the suffering of elephants used for tourist “joyrides”. In his new campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Neil is wounded and bruised with an ankus – a sharp iron hook used to prod elephants – near his face, next to the tagline, “Try to Relate to Their Fate: Elephants Used for Joy Rides Are Abused!” The campaign was shot by top photographer Rohan Shrestha. Neil’s hairstyling was done by Amit Parekh, and his make-up was done by Wasim Shaikh Ahmed.

The SIIMA “Best Actor in a Negative Role” award winner for Tamil film Kaththi, Neil states, “Let’s bring enrichment into the lives of elephants by pledging never to use elephants for joy rides. A fleeting moment of amusement means a lifetime of suffering for these gentle mammals whose spirit is broken through the ruthless torture caused by the ankus and chains”.

So-called “joyrides” are least joyful and most painful for the elephants who are forced to give them. A PETA-commissioned investigation of elephant training in Nepal and a PETA investigation of elephants used for rides in Jaipur revealed that elephants are physically and emotionally abused at every juncture. Often when they are just 2 years old, baby elephants are torn away from the tender care of their mothers and are either tied up between trees with heavy chains and ropes, which cause painful burns, or confined to a tiny wooden enclosure called a kraal. Trainers then beat the young elephants with sticks and jab them with ankuses until they lose all hope and begin to obey commands, a process that sometimes lasts for months. These metal weapons are also used to pierce their sensitive ears, yank on them, and force them to walk in a certain fashion. Trainers then continue to thrash the elephants on their heads and other parts of their bodies when they don’t obey, leaving many injured. They are often forced to give rides with untreated open wounds.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.