An elephant in India that was thought to have been saved from abuse by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney in 2012 has been found beaten in a chicken shack, according to an investigation by PETA India.
McCartney had made agreements with Maharashtra State's forest department and Project Elephant in 2012, an Indian government organization, to move the elephant, named Sunder, to a sanctuary.
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But PETA India posted a video of the elephant on YouTube in December showing how Sunder is still being treated.
"The video reveals a malnourished-looking Sunder, chained by two legs, writhing in pain and struggling to stand as the mahout strikes him repeatedly with the pole," PETA India said in December. "Sunder visibly recoils in fear from the weapon-wielding mahout, who continues to threaten him with violence after he has stood."
The Times of India reported that PETA India
filed a petition with a high court in Bombay when the video was posted calling for the 14-year-old elephant to be released into a sanctuary.
PETA India told the Times of India that the online petition had more than 26,200 signatures, including the McCartney and actress Pamela Anderson.
Vinay Kore, whose Warna Group of Cooperatives and Industries donated the elephant to Jotiba temple in 2007, said that the elephant was being prepared to move.
"We are in the process of setting up a rescue center for the animal at Jotiba, instead of sending him to Bangalore," Kore said. "A committee appointed by the Central Zoo Authority had visited Warnanagar and Jotiba five months ago. We told committee that we are ready to take the responsibility of the elephant and the place for the rescue center is finalized. We have seen the rehabilitation center in Bangalore; we will establish a better one for Sunder here itself."
Manilal Valliyate, PETA India director of veterinary affairs, argued that India's officials are to blame for Sunder's treatment.
"What we're asking the forest department to do to is follow its own order," Valliyate said in a statement. "Sunder has suffered every day of his life for at least the past six years, and much of that suffering is a direct reflection on the forest department's shirking of its duty."
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