Mumbai: After hearing from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India about the plight of a young elephant who has been beaten and is kept in chains, former Beatle Paul McCartney broke from rehearsals for his performance at the London Olympics to send an urgent letter to Maharashtra Forest Minister Dr Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam.
The music legend, who first came to India in 1966, called on the minister to use his power immediately to rescue the little elephant, named Sunder, from Jyotiba Temple in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra and move him to a forested sanctuary.
"I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes", wrote McCartney. "Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way and enough is enough. I most respectfully call on you to get Sunder out."
The music legend called on the minister to use his power immediately to rescue the little elephant named Sunder.
McCartney's plea follows PETA India's discovery that Sunder was being abused by his mahout (or handler), who has gone on the run from the police since the group became involved. Sunder has sustained a severe injury to his right eye from being jabbed in it with an ankus (a sharp, hooked metal poker-like weapon) by the boy mahout.
The elephant is also confined to chains with sharp spikes and is kept alone inside a dark shed, in which he cannot even take one step forward or backward.
The elephant was donated to the temple by Maharashtra Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore.