Shackled, Beaten, Abused is the tagline of a new PETA ad designed to raise awareness about the mistreatment of captive elephants.
It features Celina Jaitley, who is a popular actress in India. Last year she also participated in an elephant conservation fundraiser in Switzerland that raised one million francs.
The ad is part of a campaign focused on raising awareness in India, and PETA has had success recently in doing just that. The city of Mumbai has banned captive elephants from the area within the city limits. Several accidents prior to the ban include the deaths of at least two elephants who were struck by moving vehicles.
“Captive conditions cannot provide for the complex needs of elephants,” said Anuradha Sawhney of PETA. “These majestic animals belong in the wild, but instead they are locked up like criminals – even though they have committed no crime.”
The conditions can also be very difficult for the mahouts (elephant handlers) who have to deal with elephants that are very stressed and agitated. Some of the mahouts have been injured and even killed during elephant incidents. PETA is working with the Indian government to establish a sanctuary for captive elephants.
“In Mumbai and other parts of India, I have seen so many elephants that are kept in such bad conditions in captivity,” said Jaitley. “I think PETA has taken a very good step, and I am proud to be associated with this cause.”
Jaitley was crowned Miss India in 2001 and has appeared in a number of movies and music videos.Image Credit: Rakesh Shrestha and PETA India