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Ellie the Elephant is Asia’s first realistic educational animatronic elephant, and she is currently visiting schools across India and teaching students about the importance of empathy and kindness.
Ellie is available in both English and Hindi and was launched at Jamnabai Narsee International School in Mumbai, India PETA reported. Ellie is voiced by the actor Dia Mirza and the unique animatronic animal offers a first-person perspective into the lives of real elephants that are used and exploited for circuses, rides, and other cruel activities.
PETA says that Ellie is able to blink her eyes, flap her ears, and tells a story about being separated from her mother as a baby and being taken in to be a circus performer. She was eventually rescued and told the children how she now enjoys her life at an animal sanctuary. Ellie explains to the students that elephants have feelings and personalities too, and although they don’t look the same, they actually have more in common than they might think.
“Elephants are deeply intelligent, social, and emotional beings who belong in nature, not in confinement, where they are chained and beaten,” says Mirza, who is known for her work as UN Secretary-General Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and UN Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador. “I am delighted to be working with PETA India and giving a voice to Ellie to teach youngsters that kindness to elephants means letting them live free.”
She adds, “As a mother, it’s an extremely conscious choice for me to Support and work with education initiatives that create such a beautiful and nuanced sense of connection with nature among children. Through Ellie, I hope we can further build the precious bond our young ones already have with the planet as earthlings.”
Behind the scenes of famous elephant riding attractions, the animals are chained and robbed of any social contact with other elephants. They are frequently beaten and deprived of food, water, or rest until they lose all will to fight back. Elephants are highly intelligent and emotional beings; when pushed to their limit, they react just as a person under great stress will. The reality is that these creatures don’t belong as tourism props, and no matter how hard we may try to make them conform, we can never truly stifle their wild spirit.
Life for an elephant in captivity is far different from one living in the wild, where they will trek up to thirty miles a day and form strong bonds with other elephants. The good news is you have the power to stop this cruelty. And it all starts with saying no to elephant rides and anything that involves exploiting live animals.
“To this our school we are proud to belong. And its praise we sing loud and clear. For here we learn what is right, what is true. And strive to live free from all fear,” says Preeta Sinha founder of One Green Planet as she fondly recalls the words from her elementary school anthem which interestedly enough is Jamnabai Narsee International School as well. Well done Dia, JNS and Peta India,” she added.
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