Delhi High Court Rules on PETA India’s Petition, Approves Home for Hippopotamus Rescued From Asiad Circus 

For Immediate Release:

16 April 2021


Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Court’s Order Is Based on an Inspection Report From the Animal Welfare Board of India

Delhi – On Thursday, based on a petition filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and an inspection report submitted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the High Court of Delhi issued an order approving a new home for the hippopotamus rescued from Asiad Circus: a spacious facility in Jamnagar, Gujarat. Based on the pleas of PETA India, the court also directed that by 30 September, the central government shall take a decision on framing Rules to confer protection for exotic animals who are currently not under the purview of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

“PETA India thanks the honourable High Court of Delhi for reiterating that every animal, whether or not protected under wildlife laws, deserves to be treated with respect and must be afforded good care after a cruel life in confinement,” says PETA India Senior Legal Counsel Swati Sumbly. “This court order is yet another victory in our fight to liberate every animal from a life of misery, privation, and pain in circuses and fuels our hope for the eventual end to such abuse for entertainment.”

Following the order of the court on 17 February, a report was filed by the AWBI after it physically inspected the facility where the hippopotamus is now housed. The AWBI expressed complete satisfaction with the mental and physical health of the hippopotamus, the housing conditions, and the environmental enrichment and nutrition being given to him. The AWBI noted that he is in the company of a rescued female hippopotamus and is receiving expert veterinary care. The agency also confirmed that the facility meets the Central Zoo Authority’s “Guidelines on Minimum Dimensions of Enclosures for Housing Exotic Animals of Different Species” and recommended that the facility be allowed to provide the hippopotamus with lifelong care.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – filed its petition in 2018, requesting that the court order the seizure and rehabilitation of the hippo from the Asiad Circus, where he was forced to live a solitary life, confined to a small tank with concrete flooring and filthy water. Through its petition, the group also requested that the court direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to expand the Central Zoo Authority’s purview to include all exotic wild animals, including hippos, birds, and others who aren’t currently protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

PETA India opposes the exploitation of wildlife and speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit