End Cruel Use of Elephants at Temple Festival

elephant by megan coughlin

Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Goal: Stop parading thirsty, overheated, and stressed elephants through festivals.

Dozens of elephants were recently made to stand for 36 hours at a time in blistering hot weather as part of Thrissur Pooram, a Hindu temple festival in India. The 79 elephants were paraded in front of temples as attractions while bustling crowds, loud music, and even fireworks created extreme stress. This year, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) veterinarians were reportedly blocked from examining the elephants to ensure their well-being, putting the safety of both the elephants and the festivalgoers at risk.

During the grueling festival, elephants are paraded around the grounds for nearly two days, often without shade or food and with limited access to water. The conditions have caused animals to collapse of exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke. In another case, the stress caused an elephant to run amok, causing mass panic and injuring over 60 revelers.

Despite the fact that the Indian government has laid strict guidelines for the use of elephants in festivals, several reports have surfaced of organizers not following these rules. For example, denying AWBI veterinarians access to the elephants was allegedly done in direct contradiction of a Supreme Court of India order that elephant parades must be inspected and approved by an AWBI committee.

This festival causes extreme physical and mental stress to highly intelligent animals. It also puts both elephants and humans at risk of extreme danger. Sign the petition below to demand that the use of elephant parades at the Thrissur Pooram temple festival is banned permanently.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Modi,

The Thrissur Pooram festival recently saw 79 elephants paraded through roaring crowds, loud music, and even fireworks. The elephants were made to walk in hot weather, without adequate food, water, or shade. In the past, stressed and unhealthy elephants have collapsed or run amok, causing injuries to over 60 people. Despite this, it was reported that festival organizers were still not following safety regulations laid out for elephant parades.

This festival is highly exploitative toward these highly intelligent and emotional animals. In order to protect the physical and mental well-being of elephants as well as save festivalgoers from potential injuries, elephant parades at Thrissur Pooram must be stopped immediately. We, the undersigned, urge you to ban the temple festival from using elephants due to reported refusals to adhere to safety regulations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Megan Coughlin

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8 Comments

  1. Beth Knalfa says:

    Modi has no control to stop this! The people are insane at these festivals, it’s so sad. India truly has changed with no respect for their animals. People there do whatever they want to elephants, the suffering bears dragged around by their nose, etcetera. Don’t go to India.

    • Kristian Saldanha says:

      Don’t talk badly about the entire country just because of the unfortunate events to animals. 70% of India is vegetarian due to believing in animal rights. It is unfortunate that elephants are being mistreated, but that’s only by some heartless people. Please do not judge the entire country based on what some deceitful people are doing. I do believe that how the elephants are being treated is wrong and should be stopped, but my point to you is to not put the entire country of India down, because of these unfortunate events. Thank you.

  2. THESE IDIOTIC PEOPLE NEED TO BE PUT IN THE SAME PLACE AS THESE WONDERFUL ANIMALS, THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE TO BE DOING SUCH SICK AND TWISTED THINGS, AND WHAT MAKES ME LAUGH, IT IS ALWAYS TO DO WITH A TEMPLE OR ANOTHER, WONDERFUL, HOW SICK IS THAT.

  3. Amar Taggarh says:

    I was born in India and this is one of the many shakes of India. Nobody is held accountable for how the animals are treated there. This sickens me to no end. I am a Canadian and Canada is also a bad place for animals. I am ashamed to be Indo-Canadian.

  4. I hate that, it’s so sad for these elephants, when they are not poached, they are in zoos or circuses, when they are not in zoos, circuses, they do monstrous tourist attractions and sick parades for stupid festivals. Not the most exploited species but really, what a life for elephant, asia or africa, never completely free. If he or she is free in the wild, she/he “bothers” people and the country. They break animal’s spirit for their own selfish reasons, it’s disgusting.

    • Basabi Banerjee says:

      Emel, Sorry to say that your own activists daily post the horrible treatment in the American and European countries too . Not only the elephants the animal huntings takr place under legal banner. The dog fightins, puppy mill breedings etc , the treatment meted out to the whales and many other vices are practised under your very noses and you remain indifferent when you don’t participate in the abuses. But at least this much can be said, that the temple elephants are just a fistful considering the abundance of the wild ones.

      And for your information the most renowned activist group from the USA or UK, the glorious PETA is creating havoc here by their doing simply nothing only asking for donations and flexing muscles. Do you know after reading the article of Liz Jones on the temple elephants my own activist group had made at least dozen appeals to them since they claim to HAVE POWER OVER OUR GOVERNMENT. But they didn’t care to reply. I think they receive handsome donations from the temple authorities and chose to keep mum on the subject. we had appealed to ASPCA next. They chose to follow their brother’s path.

  5. sabita patwardhan says:

    Shitty bastards these people. Heartbreaking.

  6. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared.

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