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PETA India seeks rehabilitation of elephant that killed mahout in Kerala's Idukki

PETA India has also called for permanent closure of all illegal safari parks in Kerala and rehabilitation of all the elephants held captive there, the organisation said in a release.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 10:12 IST

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Idukki, Kerala: Following a tragic killing of a mahout by a jumbo called Lakshmi last week at an allegedly illegally run elephant park in this high range district of Kerala, animal rights organisation PETA has urged the state's wildlife department to rehabilitate the pachyderm at a sanctuary.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has also called for permanent closure of all illegal safari parks in Kerala and rehabilitation of all the elephants held captive there, the organisation said in a release.

"Elephants who have spent years being chained, bullied, and threatened with weapons are known to attack, lashing out in fear and frustration.

"PETA India is appealing to the chief wildlife warden to immediately protect Lakshmi and humans who may encounter her by sending her to a sanctuary for care and to shut all illegal parks that dangerously force elephants to carry tourists," PETA India Director of Advocacy Khushboo Gupta said in the release.

PETA India, in its release, also cited other incidents where captive elephants attacked, injured and killed people in the southern state.

It said that many captive elephants in India, including in Kerala, are being held illegally or have been transported from one state to another without permission.

"Elephants are wild animals, and training them to be used for ceremonies, rides, tricks, and other purposes is done by violently dominating them, including by beating them into submission and using weapons to inflict pain.

"Many elephants held captive in temples and used for rides suffer from extremely painful foot problems and leg wounds due to being chained on concrete for hours on end. Most of them are denied adequate food, water, veterinary care, and any semblance of a natural life," it said in the release.

The elephants living in such conditions become intensely frustrated and lash out, sometimes killing mahouts, devotees, tourists, or other humans, it said.

PETA India further said that according to the Heritage Animal Task Force, captive elephants killed 526 people in Kerala in a 15-year period.

"PETA India encourages the use of lifelike mechanical elephants or other non-animal means in place of real elephants and advocates for elephants already in captivity to be retired to sanctuaries where they could live unchained and in the company of other elephants, healing psychologically and physically from the trauma of years of isolation, captivity, and abuse," the release said.

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Published 28 June 2024, 10:12 IST

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