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Politician keeps elephant prisoner despite government order to set him free

Sunder the elephant taken February 19, 2014
Sunder the elephant taken February 19, 2014
provided by PETA

His name may mean “beautiful” in Hindi, but Sunder the elephant’s life is anything but beautiful. Although the Indian Government has ordered the Jyotiba (Hindu) Temple in Kolhapur, to return the 14-year pachyderm to the wild after a protest by Paul McCartney made his plight public in 2012, PETA reported that Sunder is still living a life of horror, chained outside a poultry shed owned by local politician Vinay Kore, where he reportedly was seen “writhing in pain and struggling to stand as a handler strikes him with a pole.”

"I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes," McCartney wrote during his trip to the area nearly 2 years ago."I appeal to you to do what is right here and get Sunder post-haste to rehabilitation in the forest."

According to PETA’s director of veterinary affairs in India, Manilal Valliyate, “domestically kept elephants face a grim existence in India. Many Hindu temples keep elephants outside their doors to give blessings to visitors, but the animals are often poorly treated. The way elephants are kept and treated here in India violates almost all norms," he said. "Sunder is just one example."

In the meantime a servant at the Kore residence, known simply as Tara, claims that the elephant “is healthy and fine,” despite video showing otherwise.