Sonakshi Sinha Calls For Release Of Jaipur Elephant Beaten And Used For Rides


For Immediate Release:

6 February 2018


Nirali Gada; [email protected]

Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Bollywood Star Urges Forest Minister to Confiscate Elephant ‘Number 44’ After Tourist Reports Violent Beating

Mumbai – Today, award-winning actor Sonakshi Sinha fired off a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India calling on Rajasthan Minister for Forest, Environment, Youth Affairs and Sports Gajendra Singh Khimsar to relocate an elephant, known only as “Number 44”, to a rehabilitation facility for urgent care after a group of American tourists witnessed eight men violently beating her at Amber Fort.

“It has been three years since an inspection team authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India documented rampant and widespread abuse of elephants used for rides in Jaipur, including at Amber Fort,” Sinha writes. “I respectfully request that you start with Number 44, who should be confiscated and sent to a rehabilitation facility for treatment and care. This animal deserves to live without chains and in the company of other elephants.”

A copy of letter is available on request.

Sinha’s letter follows PETA India’s complaint to the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Rajasthan Forest Department, which resulted in a show-cause notice issued to Number 44’s custodian, Wasid Khan, holding him responsible for the abuse. The notice stated that an investigation carried out by the Regional Forest Officer for Jaipur Zoo, as well as a photograph supplied by the American witness, indicated that the elephant was treated cruelly, in apparent violation of numerous animal-protection laws. The Jaipur police also registered a First Information Report against unidentified men under Sections 429 and 289 of the Indian Penal Code for mistreating the elephant and putting public safety at risk. However, Khan was later allowed to use her for rides.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that captive elephants, such as the ones forced to give rides in Jaipur, often are beaten mercilessly, are denied adequate food and veterinary care, and suffer from foot problems and arthritis because of long periods spent standing on hard surfaces. Many develop neurotic forms of behaviour and die prematurely.

Sinha has previously appeared in a pro-adoption ad campaign for PETA India. She also supported the#FreeGajraj campaign calling for the release of a captive elephant, who was subsequently freed.

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