Hollywood Star Anjelica Huston Urges Indian Tourism Ministry to Ban Cruel Elephant Rides

For Immediate Release:

21 November 2017


Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

After Photo of Burning Indian Elephants Goes Viral, Screen Legend Takes Action

Mumbai – Motivated by a viral photograph showing a mother Indian elephant and her baby desperately trying to outrun flaming projectiles being thrown at them by a mob, Academy Award winner and star of The Darjeeling Limited Anjelica Huston sent a letter today on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) calling on the Indian Ministry of Tourism to ban cruel elephant rides. The Darjeeling Limited was shot mostly in Rajasthan – a state where numerous elephants, such as those around Amer Fort, are used for rides.

A copy of Huston’s letter to the Minister of State for Tourism is available upon request.

“As much as I was enchanted by India when we filmed The Darjeeling Limited there, I am haunted now by the image of a mother elephant and her calf –  fleeing, screaming, from a mob hurling fiery tar balls at them in West Bengal,” writes Huston. “I appeal to you on behalf of caring citizens around the world to ban the use of elephants for rides, move rescued elephants to sanctuaries, and empower those in the hideous elephant-abuse business to take up more upstanding professions.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that elephants used for rides are typically beaten into submission; denied adequate food, water, and veterinary care; and made to stand on hard concrete surfaces, leading to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis. Unsurprisingly, captive Indian elephants, who are often kept chained when not being used, exhibit signs of severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing, and weaving, and have been known to lash out in frustration, injuring and even killing nearby humans.

Huston was PETA US’ Person of the Year in 2012. Her past work in behalf of animals includes supporting legislation to phase out New York’s archaic horse-drawn carriage industry and sending a letter to the Irish government urging the country to honour its commitment to banning fur farms.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.