Elephant Sunder Found With Massive Leg Wound On Indian Politician’S Property

For Immediate Release:

21 May 2014


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

Veterinary Expert Recommends Sunder Be Rescued ‘on an Emergency Basis’ as Per Bombay High Court Order

London – During a recent veterinary inspection by an elephant expert, 14-year-old elephant Sunder was found with what the health examination report calls a “massive wound … as a result of constant tying with heavy chains”. The expert’s report also states that Sunder should be moved from Kolhapur to an elephant-care centre in Bangalore “on an emergency basis” as directed by the Bombay High Court. The court had ordered the Maharashtra Forest Department to move Sunder to the centre before the monsoon season. But Maharashtra Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore – who is not the legal owner of Sunder and has kept him on his property illegally – has attempted to block the order by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court. PETA India has been campaigning for Sunder’s release since 2012 and is represented in the Supreme Court by leading animal advocate Raj Panjwani.

High-resolution photos of the huge wound discovered on Sunder’s leg last week are available for download here.

The investigative video can be viewed here, and the broadcast-quality version can be downloaded here.

The finding comes on the heels of the December 2013 video footage showing that Sunder’s mahout (handler) beat him with a pole on Kore’s property.

“Sunder, who has known nothing but hideous abuse, needs rescuing now, without delay, so that he can get the care he so desperately needs and deserves”, says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. “The High Court has spoken, and anyone who stands in the way of its compassionate order to bring relief to this poor elephant is prolonging his suffering for his or her own reasons, likely deplorable greed.”

All the paperwork for Sunder’s transfer has been completed, and now the Maharashtra Forest Department simply needs to set a date for the move. The health examination report also stated that Sunder’s wound can be dressed, he is not in musth (a period of sexual urge in elephants that can make them difficult to handle), and he can and should be transported to Bangalore quickly.

For more information on animals in captivity, please visit PETA.org.uk.