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Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says that an Indian elephant named Sunder is still being abused by its handlers at a Jyotiba Temple near Mumbai, even after international pleas for the animal’s release. Former Beatle Paul McCartney even lead a campaign for Sunder’s release in 2012, but nothing has changed for Sunder.
The Indian government did order that Sunder, 14, be released in 2012, but PETA has said that a local politician, Vinay Kore, took Sunder himself and put him in shackles by a poultry shed, reports The Associated Press. PETA had previously released a video from December it claims shows the animal being struck and withering in pain.
“Sunder visibly recoils in fear from the weapon-wielding mahout, who continues to threaten him with violence after he has stood,” PETA director of veterinary affairs, Dr. Manilal Valliyate, said, reports Yahoo News.
While Kore has not responded to PETA’s accusations, a household servant for the politician told the AP, “The elephant is kept at the poultry shed and is healthy and fine.”
PETA disagrees, saying that the shack has no bedding and does not protect him from the sun, cold weather or windy nights.
McCartney, who has supported PETA in the past, wrote to the Indian government in 2012, “I appeal to you to do what is right here and get Sunder post-haste to rehabilitation in the forest.”