Shackled ‘Elephant’ To PCCF: ‘For God’s Sake, Release Sunder Now!’

For Immediate Release:
17 October-2012

Chani Singh; [email protected]
Sanam Wazir; [email protected]

Forest Department Sits Idly by While Abused and Injured Young Elephant Remains Chained

Nagpur, Maharashtra – Accompanied by a PETA supporter wearing an elephant costume and shackled in chains, PETA members will hold signs that read, “PCCF: For God’s Sake, Release Sunder Now!” outside the office of SWH Naqvi, IFS, principal chief conservator of forests (i.e. wildlife), (PCCF) in Maharashtra state in Nagpur, on Thursday. The protesters’ point? That the order issued by the Maharashtra minister of forests, Dr Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam, to free Sunder must be implemented immediately. Sunder – a 13-year-old elephant who was held captive in a dark shed at the Jyotiba Temple in Kolhapur is kept chained constantly. He has a severe injury in his right eye and wound marks from being beaten by his mahout all over his body. PETA has already arranged for Sunder’s transfer to a reputable wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in Bangalore, where he can roam freely, feel the sun on his back, bathe in pools and enjoy the crucial company of other elephants.

When:   Thursday, 18 October, 12 noon sharp

Where: Outside the PCCF’s office, Van Vigyan Bhawan, Ramigiri Road, Civil Lane, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440001

“Elephants are highly intelligent, social and expressive animals who suffer every minute when they are locked in solitary confinement”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “It’s unconscionable that the principal chief conservator of forests has the power to end Sunder’s agony but apparently lacks the will to do so.”

Sunder is denied everything that is natural and important to him and lives in fear. He has won the hearts of people around the world, including Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson, who have both written letters asking for Sunder’s transfer to the sanctuary.

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