PETA India Supporter to Be ‘Beaten’ to Urge Public to Say No to Elephant Rides

For Immediate Release:
25 September 2018

Radhika Suryavanshi; [email protected]
Garima Jain; [email protected]

Ahead of World Tourism Day, Group Will Highlight Cruelty to Elephants Used for Tourist Rides

Kolkata – Just ahead of World Tourism Day (27 September), a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India supporter dressed as an elephant and crouching in a kraal will be mercilessly “beaten” by a “mahout” in Kolkata on Wednesday. The demonstration will shine a spotlight on the suffering that elephants endure during their “training” for tourist rides and throughout the rest of their miserable lives and will appeal to the public to say no to riding elephants.

When:             Wednesday, 26 September, 12 noon

Where:           At the gate of the Victoria Memorial Hall, near PG Hospital, next to Rabindra Sadan, Kolkata

“Tearing baby elephants from their families, beating them into submission, and forcing them to carry humans on their backs day in and day out is indefensibly cruel,” says PETA India campaigner Radhika Suryavanshi. “More and more tourists are refusing to ride elephants.”

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that it’s standard practice for mahouts to beat and jab elephants with iron-tipped wooden sticks and ankuses, which are hooked iron rods (in violation of the directives of the Rajasthan High Court), and even to pierce their sensitive ears and drill holes into their tusks to pull and control them. While elephants in nature travel as far as 50 kilometres per day, those in captivity often endure foot problems and arthritis because of long periods spent chained on hard surfaces. Many suffer from malnutrition or dehydration or die prematurely, and even animals who are visually impaired or injured are forced to carry tourists under the blazing sun.

More than 100 travel agencies – including global operators such as TripAdvisor, The Travel Corporation, Intrepid Travel, and TUI Group – have committed to not offering activities that exploit elephants. Last year, a group of American tourists contacted PETA India after witnessing an elephant used for rides being violently beaten by several men in Jaipur.

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