Following PETA India Appeal, Rajasthan Forest Minister Calls for Rescue of Beaten Elephant

For Immediate Release:

10 May 2019


Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

Group Appealed for Malti’s Release Again After Viral Video Showed Her Being Publicly Abused for the Second Time in Less Than Two Years

Jaipur – After learning from PETA India that an elephant named Malti – also referred to as “No 44” – was recently subjected to abuse by her handlers in view of the public for the second time in less than two years while she was being used for apparently illegal tourist rides at Amer Fort near Jaipur, Rajasthan, the Forest and Environment Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Sukhram Vishnoi, has directed the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan to take strict and immediate action to ensure that Malti is rescued and rehabilitated.

Video footage taken in late March shows that because Malti was fighting with another elephant – a sign of serious psychological distress – the handlers tried to use sticks to control both animals and shouted at them. Luckily, the tourists riding them at the time were unharmed.

“The enslavement Malti is made to endure for tourist rides is hell on Earth and utterly unacceptable for any living, feeling being,” says PETA India Associate Director of Policy Nikunj Sharma. “Being able to roam, having control over their own lives, and having mental stimulation are essential to elephants’ mental and physical health. When they’re held captive and beaten, they often snap and express their frustration by harming or killing those around them. Malti needs to be transferred to a sanctuary in order not only to stop her from suffering but also to protect the lives of tourists and other members of the public.”

In a letter to the Rajasthan Forest Department, PETA India points out that a group of American tourists witnessed eight men violently beating Malti with sticks for nearly 10 minutes at Amer Fort in June 2017. The letter further stated that she’s still being forced to give rides, despite her evident distress, putting human lives at risk. In view of the evidence that she’s being subjected to violence, PETA India urged the Forest Department to seize her immediately and send her to a reputable sanctuary for rehabilitation.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – notes that the report on the 2018 Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) inspection of captive elephants in Jaipur states, “Out of 100 cow elephants, elephant no 44 (ride no), by the name Malti was found to be extremely nervous and anxious and has the history of running amok in June 2017.” It further states that her ownership certificate is invalid and that her welfare is compromised, since her toenails are overgrown, cracked, deformed, and discoloured; the cuticles around her nails and in the interdigital space are overgrown, dry, and cracked; her foot pads are thin, uneven, and bruised; and her blood profile indicates eosinophilia (an increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood, which occurs in response to some allergens, drugs, and parasites) and neutropenia (the presence of abnormally few neutrophils in the blood, leading to increased susceptibility to infection). The report also notes that she and her custodian don’t fulfil the criteria for registration with the AWBI to give rides at Amer Fort or Hathigaon.

Married couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma have also condemned Malti’s plight and called for her to be rescued.

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