When it comes to helping animals in need, nothing stands in Sir Paul McCartney‘s way — not even Olympic rehearsals.
The Beatle was in London practicing for his performance at the Games when he learned about the plight of an abused elephant in India. McCartney immediately stopped his rehearsal and sent a plea to the Indian Forest Minister, asking him to secure the release of a young pachyderm named Sunder.
In his letter, McCartney wrote, “I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes. 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 get Sunder out.”
Evidently Sunder has been kept in deplorable conditions for quite some time. PETA India says that the elephant has sustained a severe eye injury from being jabbed with a hooked poker, is covered in lesions from past abuse, and is kept alone in a dark shed, with no light or room to take even a single step. The elephant’s handler is now on the run from authorities.
Sadly, this type of abuse is becoming all too common. According to PETA India, many elephants are kept in small concrete pens where they are unable to move and must stand in their own excrement.
“Frequently controlled through beatings and prodded and gouged in sensitive areas behind their knees and ears with an ankus, they languish without veterinary care for even serious conditions, sustain leg injuries and are fed unsuitable food. Many elephants at Indian temples also show signs of severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing or weaving – behaviour not found in healthy elephants in nature,” reads the website.
For more information on the plight of Sunder and other Indian elephants, including how to help, head over to the PETA India site.
Sunder photos courtesy of PETA.