The plight of a 14-year-old elephant called Sunder has sparked outrage. The elephant that had been donated to the Jyotiba temple by MLA Kore has been kept in chains inside dark sheds since 2007. In December 2013, PETA acquired footage of the terrible maltreatment of this animal. The video showed Sunder’s mahout beating him with a pole near a poultry shed, where he had been moved at the request of Kore.
The Ethical Treatment of Animals India has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court for the release of this elephant. Prominent Bollywood stars have also spoken out for the release of the elephant. These include Raveena Tandon, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and R. Madhavan. The actor Arjun Rampal also donated two billboards for the campaign showing images of Sunder in chains. The message emblazoned across the billboards reads, “Maharashtra Forest Department, Have a Heart: Free Sunder.”
The High Court has ordered Sunder’s transfer however the forest department has not released him yet. 80,000 people have signed PETA India’s online petition for Sunder’s release.