“The Tragic Lives of India’s Mistreated Elephants” (Extra Credit)

An article was recently published by BBC news about the mistreatment of elephants in India. A 42 year old elephant named “Rajeshwari” laid in a patch of sand for over a month due to sores all over her body and her forelimb and femur being broken. The elephant broke its leg while being transported in an open truck and it fell off. When authorities flipped her by using an earthmover, in order to treat her, they broke her femur. She spent a good amount of her life in pain. A local animal advocate petitioned the court to humanely euthanize the elephant, however, the elephant died before any decision was made. Unfortunately, this elephant just wasted to death.

Elephants in India are used in many different circumstances; religious festivals, weddings, parades and processions, shop/hotel openings, and entertaining tourists with rides. According to this article more than 70 captive elephants have died under “unnatural conditions and at a young age” in just three states in 2 years. The President of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre stated that “Most of these deaths are due to torture, abuse, overwork, or faulty management practices”. India’s supreme court has taken action to combat the use of elephants in animal fairs and religious functions, however, not enough is being done. Even though there are powerful animal protection laws and guidelines to protect captive elephants,  there are more than 350 captive elephants in just two states (Kerala and Rajasthan) that are “illegal”.

I think this article is extremely important and should be publicized in many different places as to spread the word. I know personally, I have friends that have studied abroad or traveled to India and have posted the pictures riding the elephants. They are completely unaware of the mistreatment these animals endure. Tourism is a huge contributor to issues like this. It’s unfortunate that this has gone on for so long. I think one of the biggest contributors to potentially ending this fad would be education. Educating not only the people who take care of these elephants but also those that come to see them.


Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43862182

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