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Stop captive elephant torture at Guruvayur Temple

This petition had 3,450 supporters

As the spectators look on and smile, the mahout of the 82 year old Elephant Padmanabhan, continuously pokes him with a sharp hook, prompting this majestic elephant to raise its trunk as a mark of respect to Gajarajan Kesavan.

By using metal hooks, the mahouts have tortured 18 elephants into submission. This is all happening for a religious ceremony.

The temple of Guruvayoor Devaswom houses the statue of perhaps the most famous and celebrated captive elephant in Kerala, Gajarajan Guruvayur Kesavan. To honour his death every year, the temple authorities line up elephants and the head elephant kept by the temple in captivity is tortured into raising its trunk in front of Gajarajan's idol as a mark of respect.

These elephants are tortured by the authorities to honour the life and death of another captive elephant?

Recently, five elephants were being held captive in Mandya, Karnataka. Due to the delay in rescue operations,  51-year-old elephant ‘Chanchal’ died due to lack of proper food and medical care.  Let’s ensure the same does not happen to 82 year old Padmanabhan and his elephant friends at Guruvayur Temple!

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The temple authorities are in violation of a Supreme Court order that states prior permission from the District Committee for Elephant Welfare if the number of elephants exceeds 15  and prohibits handlers from using weapons with sharp edges.

These 18 elephants were paraded down a tarred road, suffering painful injuries on their legs and trunks, while their Mahouts controlled them through sticks with metal hooks and 9 meter long iron rods with sharp edges.

Police, revenue officials, Temple committee members, all stood by as mute spectators, enjoying the ceremony.

According to Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, there are 14 District Level Elephant Task Force preventing such cruelty. In reality, they exist only on paper.  They are responsible for reporting cases of Elephant cruelty and brutality to the State level task force, who in reality, convened its first meeting on 10th October 2015.

The authorities need to take immediate action and stop captive elephant torture at Guruvayur Temple! Officials and mahouts who tortured the majestic elephants of Guruvayoor Devaswom as part of Guruvayoor Kesavan Anusmaranam on 21st November 2015, should be arrested.

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