McCartney’s plea for the elephant in chains: Star joins international battle to free animal that is shackled and beaten


Suffering: Sunder tethered in the temple shed, where he was taken after being dragged from a forest in the South-West of the country

Routinely beaten and kept so tightly manacled with medieval spiked chains, Sunder the baby elephant cannot take a single step in any direction.
He is in desperate need of treatment for a serious eye injury after being cruelly jabbed with a metal poker by his boy handler.
These are the heartbreaking pictures that have captured the young animal’s horrific ordeal and have moved Sir Paul McCartney to join an international battle to free Sunder.

The former Beatle wants the Indian Government to intervene in the elephant’s plight and has warned ministers in a letter: ‘The world is watching.’
The young animal is confined to a tiny and dark shed at a temple after being dragged from a forest in the South-West of the country.
Sir Paul asked officials to step in and save the elephant after seeing the distressing images of his many injuries.
In a letter to an Indian Government Minister written during rehearsals for the Olympic opening ceremony, the musical legend said the ‘world is watching’.

Brutal: Sunder's feet are chained with spiked manacles so he cannot take a single step in any direction

He said: ‘I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes.
‘I appeal to you to do what is right here and get Sunder post-haste to rehabilitation in the Forest.
‘Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way and enough is enough.
‘I most respectfully call on you to use your authority to get Sunder out, placed in your protective custody and eventually integrated into a herd in the forest.’

Multi-tasking: Sir Paul wrote his letter during rehearsals for the Olympic opening ceremony, in which he played the Beatles hit 'Hey Jude'

Humanitarian: Sir Paul, pictured as he closed the opening ceremony, is a vocal animal rights campaigner

The elephant’s plight was discovered by supporters of campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
He is held in Kerala where wild young elephants are often captured and brought to temples to represent the Hindu god Ganesha.
Campaigners say there is a growing scandal as many are mistreated as the large and unruly animals are cowed by savage beatings.
Most do not receive any medical care and are fed unsuitable food, leaving them malnourished and distressed.

Saved: Anne the circus elephant, pictured enjoying her first Christmas at her new home in Longleat Safari Park

A spokesman for Peta said Sunder’s handler has gone on the run since his mistreatment was discovered and publicised.
He said: ‘Many elephants show signs of severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing or weaving – behaviour not found in healthy elephants in nature.
‘The lack of exercise and the years spent standing in one position on hard concrete amid their own waste lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis.’

Picture of happiness: Anne is free of her former life thanks to the generosity of Daily Mail readers and other well-wishers

Sir Paul has been a vocal animal rights campaigner, supporting a ban on the trade in dog and cat fur and posing for photos with baby seals to oppose their slaughter.
Last year the Daily Mail exposed the ordeal of Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant who was cruelly beaten with a pitchfork by her handler.

Bobby Roberts Circus, where Anne was kept: Moira and Bobby Roberts are expected to go on trial accused of animal cruelty later this year

Generous readers enabled her to be rehomed at Longleat Safari park where a £400,000 sanctuary will be completed next year.
Her former keepers, circus owners Moira and Bobby Roberts, are expected to go on trial accused of animal cruelty later this year.

source: dailymail