For Immediate Release:
29 March 2019
Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Garima Jain; [email protected]
Group Appeals to State Forest Minister to Seize Abused Elephant and Rehabilitate Her at Reputable Sanctuary
Jaipur – After learning that an elephant referred to as “No 44”, also known as Malti, was subjected to violence by her handlers in view of the public for the second time in less than two years on Wednesday – while she was being used for apparently illegal tourist rides at Amer Fort near Jaipur, Rajasthan – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has fired off a letter to Rajasthan Forest Minister Sh Sukhram Vishnoi demanding that she be rescued urgently. Video footage 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. Fortunately, the tourists riding them at the time were unharmed.
In the letter, PETA India points out that a group of American tourists witnessed eight men violently beating Malti with sticks for 10 minutes straight at Amer Fort in June 2017, but today, 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 is urging the Rajasthan Forest Department to seize her immediately and send her to a reputable sanctuary for rehabilitation.
“The conditions in which Malti is kept are hell on Earth and utterly unsuitable for any living being,” says PETA India Associate Director of Advocacy Nikunj Sharma. “Daily walks and 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. We implore the Forest Minister to grant Malti her freedom in order not only to save her life but also to protect the lives of tourists and the general public.”
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 July 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 that 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 do not fulfil the criteria for registration with the AWBI to give rides at Amer Fort or Hathigaon.
Virat Kohli and his wife, Anushka Sharma, have also condemned Malti’s plight and called for her to be rescued.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.