People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday said the Elephant Joymala (Jeymalyatha) was indeed tortured and that the elephant needs specialist care to recover from the systematic abuse it suffered.
PETA India was responding to allegations by Tamil Nadu-based NGO, Poovalugin Nanbaragal.
Khushboo Gupta, Director of Advocacy project of PETA said the female elephant should be sent to a Project Elephant-approved rescue centre that has a specialization in working with abused elephants.
PETA in a statement further said the elephant needs unique care and that it should be living in the company of other elephants and unchained.
The organisation said that there were different videos that showed joymala being beaten.
It also said that generally female elephants live in a family herd but Jeymalyatha has been kept in solitary confinement for over a decade which is something animal rights advocates would never support.
Khushboo said that Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (TN HR&CE) Department was trying to mislead the public through a tweet by calling videos of Jayamalyatha being beaten as fake.
The statement said that the same department had suspended a mahout temporarily following the first beating incident that had come to light in February 2021.
The HR&CE, according to PETA had extensively documented the disciplinary action report and the mahout and his assistant who were involved were booked.
PETA alleged if it was seized and rehabilitated it would have prevented a second beating video that surfaced in June 2022.
The animal rights organisation said that in the second video, it was found that the elephant was being beaten at the sanctum santorum of the Krishnan Koil temple.
PETA said that in its veterinary inspection report of the elephant on July 27, 2022, it was found that the present mahout of the elephant had controlled her with pliers and she was chained to a concrete floor.
The organisation said that the sustained abuse and treatment violates the Wild Life Protection Act 1972 and other acts against animal abuse.
The animal rights organisation also said that the team from Assam has still not been permitted to see her as a last-minute clean-up job on the temple’s part is being conducted.
PETA also said that the NGO, Poovalugin Nanbaragal is an environmental protection group that has nothing to do with animals and that is the motive for suddenly getting involved in this.
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