Guruvayur: Stop Encouraging the Poaching of Baby Elephants!
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The Guruvayur Devaswom Temple in Kerala, India, recently announced it would accept baby elephants as “donations,” even though this temple already owns 52 elephants. Allegations of mistreatment and neglect in Kerala include violent beatings, isolation, starvation, overwork, and cruelty involving near-medieval implements: spears, bull-hooks, and spiked chains. The results are horrific: Since 2016, thirty-eight captive elephants in Kerala have died.
And the cruelty isn’t limited to captive elephants. Wild elephants in Kerala are also victimized, mired in a losing war against habitat loss and continual poaching — with young elephants being torn from their mothers and entire herds sold into slavery at temples like Guruvayur. (For more information on the threats facing wild elephants in India, see our Huffington Post editorial here.)
In a state famously called “God’s own country” for its stunning natural resources — where elephants are revered as gods — the idea that temples are devastating wild elephant populations and chaining, torturing, and in some cases killing elephants is nothing short of horrendous.
Please stand up for compassion and demand the Guruvayur temple stop accepting young elephant calves — for their sake as well as the dwindling wild populations from which they are stolen. Please sign our petition.
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