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FREE GAJRAJ -Please help save chained elephant, held 50 years, going mad, dying in agony.

This petition had 3,091 supporters

Gajraj, 63, is kept shackled in chains for decades as a tourist attraction at a temple in Satara, India. He is imprisoned only a seven minute walk from the popular tourist spot of Sri Bhavani Museum. More people need to be aware of the nightmare this innocent animal is going through and has been enduring most of his life which will not get any better if nothing is done.

He has painful abscesses on his hind quarters and elbows caused by continuous chaining on hard flooring and no regular veterinary care. The animal also sufferers overgrown and broken toenails on all four of his feet and he can only shift his enormous weight from one to the other to try to cope. Sweets and leftovers offered by people caused intestinal properties so he is not even cared for because he can no longer make money. Veterinarians who have paid frequent visits to Gajraj over the years describe being assaulted by the foul stench of his accumulated dung and urine before they even see him. He is forced to stand in his own waste, adding to the misery.

More troubling is that Gajraj is in extreme anguish, with constant head-bobbing and swaying, showing mental distress caused by social isolation and continuous abuse in captivity. The elderly elephant is showing classic extreme psychological damage - to be tethered like this all the time is torture for him. To top it off he had his tusks sawed off. The depths of despair this gentle, intelligent and precious creature is put through is heartbreaking.

He was taken to Aundh when he was 12 years old, way back in 1965, from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, an 800-kilometre journey that took a month and a half. He's been in the same place - Yamai Devi Temple in Aundh, Satara district - for the last 51 years. Please help put an end to his suffering and let him live the rest of what's left of his days in peace and comfort, surrounded by the beauty of the country he has served for so long. He deserves at least that much.

He is no longer viable as a tourist attraction nor a representative of “serenity and bliss” as listed on tourist websites. In fact his circumstance may discourage future tourism in that area. Please allow him to be moved to animal charity Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. Thank you for your support.

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."... Mahatma Gandhi





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