For Immediate Release:
19 May 2017
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Chopra Praised for Lending Her Voice to PETA US’ Talking Mechanical Elephant That Tells Kids Why Elephants Don’t Belong in Circuses
Mumbai – While everyone is eagerly waiting to see Priyanka Chopra at her evil best in the upcoming Hollywood film Baywatch, former star of the Baywatch TV series and Hollywood actor Pamela Anderson, who also appears in the film, is singing Chopra’s praises. Both stars have taken part in campaigns to help animals with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s US affiliate, PETA US. On Thursday, Anderson took to Twitter to tweet at Chopra:
Chopra replied with the following:
Anderson’s tweet is referring to Chopra’s work with PETA US in providing the voice for its life-size mechanical elephant named Ellie. Ellie is taken to schools, where she tells kids that she was separated from her mother as a baby, endured physical abuse in the circus, and, finally, started a happy life at a sanctuary after her rescue. She is expected to include India in her global school tour.
“[Elephants are] magnificent creatures who desperately need our help and protection. Ellie and I are teaching kids that elephants belong in the wild with their families, and that they suffer greatly in captivity, where they’re kept chained, forced to learn tricks, and deprived of all the things that make them happy, like family and freedom,” Chopra has said. “I couldn’t be more proud to join PETA in bringing Ellie’s story to life for children everywhere, with the hope of instilling in them the idea of compassion and kindness for living creatures of all kinds.”
After 146 years of exploiting animals for entertainment, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus – the American circus Anderson refers to – announced earlier this year that it would be shutting down, citing a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. PETA US targeted Ringling for over three decades for its cruelty to elephants and other animals, holding protests outside performances; publicising photos and videos showing trainers beating, striking, hooking, whipping, and roughly handling animals; and pushing for bans on the use of weapons and animal performances.
In India, PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any way” – points to extensive video and photographic evidence showing circus trainers and handlers jabbing elephants with ankuses (sharp hooked metal spears) and hitting them with sticks. A nine-month Animal Welfare Board of India inspection of 16 circuses found, among other cruelty, the rampant use of torture devices; animals who had died from inadequate care or simply “gone missing”; drunken circus staff handling the animals; nearly constant chaining, caging, and other severe confinement of elephants, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals; animals who showed signs of severe psychological distress, including constant swaying, circling, and even self-mutilation; and the use of elephants and other animals who were nearly blind or had other severe eye problems.
Chopra also recently teamed up with Hollywood stars Tom Hardy and Casey Affleck for a PETA US video that encourages viewers to treat their dogs like family by never leaving them chained up outside to suffer in extreme temperatures, hungry and alone.
For more information on PETA India, please visit PETAIndia.com.