Gajraj the elephant is a 63-year-old male who has been living in chains for the past fifty-one years at a temple in Satara, India. He was once used to beg for money, but due to his failing health over the years, he has been forced to remain chained as a permanent tourist attraction.
This elderly elephant is suffering from several abscesses and wounds, particularly around his legs where decades of heavy shackles have rubbed his skin and flesh raw. The elephant’s cruel handlers have even gone so far as to saw off his tusks. They claim this is to protect people, but according to a petition on Care2, there is reason to believe the tusks were sold in the ivory market.
Gajraj is also exhibiting many signs of zoochosis, a serious psychological condition common within captive animals who are isolated and abused. The elephant has been reported neurotically swaying back and forth, bobbing his head, and compulsively trying to free himself from the shackles.
If you are as outraged as we are by this blatant case of animal cruelty, please take a moment to sign this petition demanding that Gajraj is released from chains, gets veterinary care for his multiple wounds and ill health, and is released into a safe sanctuary where he can live out the remaining years of his life without torture and abuse.
The fight does not stop here, however. Elephants like Gajraj are used as tourist attractions and exploited for profit all around the world. Please remember this sad story of Gajraj and never support businesses that use elephants or other captive animals for entertainment and profit. You can visit the Save the Asian Elephants (STAE) website to learn more about ways you can becoming involved in saving our planet’s pachyderms.
Image Source: PETA India