Sir Paul McCartney is asking Indian officials to free an abused elephant named Sunder.
by China DeSpain
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .
Photo: s_bukley /

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.”

Paul McCartney is pleading for the release of abused Indian elephant Sunder.

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.

Part of Sunder's abuse includes being forced to wear spiked ankle chains.

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.

About China DeSpain

China DeSpain is a San Antonio-based writer and blogger. She loves pop culture, animal rights, health and fitness, international travel, books and wigs. Follow China on Twitter: @ChinaDeSpain

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  • Wendy Harley

    Poor baby Sunder :( I hope with such a high profile (Sir Paul) that Sunder will be handed over to the right people and given the care and treatment he deserves. There is just TOO MUCH of this going on. It’s just not right! It’s just SO wrong!

  • Michelle Hughes

    What a bunch of total shit! I can’t stand people! If I had the money I’d pay for the United States Air Force to go pick her up in their largest cargo plane, the C-5 and I would fly her to the US where he would be given the love and care he deserves!!!! This is totally unacceptable!!! India, get your shit together!!

    • PokerRay

      C-151 actually. It would get him here quicker too. Possibly with enough room for 4-5 other abused elephants.

  • AnneMarie Fessler Ansel

    Is there a petition we can sign?

  • Claudia Gibson

    India says they’re progressive, so why tolerate this sadistic abuse of Sunder. India is still a backwards nation, Lacking true humanity! Cruelty lies in the heart! We all see their moral decay. Sunder is in the news EVERYDAY!