Release 700+ elephants tied up in chains in Kerala Temples

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Around 700 elephants are owned by people and temples in Kerala. These elephants are rented out for more than 10,000 festivals and processions. These animals have to endure long and noisy parades, loud firecrackers, stand near flames, travel long distances in open shabby vehicles and walk on tarred roads in the scorching sun for hours, denying even food, water and sleep, in the name of religion and tourism promotion. They are often abused by drunk and brutal mahouts. January to April are the cruelest months for the captive elephants in Kerala when the places of worship celebrates various annual festivals.

For example, the Guruvayur Temple's elephants are housed in the grounds surrounding Punnathur Kotta - an approximately 11 acres ground – too small a space to adequately house the population of between 50-60 elephants Guruvayur owns at any given point in time. Since the acreage is limited, the elephants not participating in any of the temple rituals at a given point in time are leg-shackled to keep them from intruding into each other's domain and equally, to ensure the safety of visitors ... Whatever the reason, the captivity is real, it is restrictive, and it is a problem for animals programmed to roam free, far and wide. The constant presence of the shackles creates festering sores — and while vets regularly attend to it, treatment can only be palliative; the shackles remain, and sores fester again. " - Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) commissioned report, 2014.

With the plight of elephants in everyone's mind, let us use this awareness to request the state government of Kerala to release all captive and suffering elephants to protected santuaries.