Video of an elephant being thrashed in captivity in Kerala sparks outrage

Video of an elephant being thrashed in captivity in Kerala sparks outrage

Following the outrage, volunteers at Voice for Asian Elephants Society intervened and rescued the elephant. A case was registered by district forest officers against the animal's handlers.

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The elephant was recused after the video went viral. (Source: @pramodchandrase/ Twitter)

A video purportedly showing a former temple elephant in Kerala being mercilessly beaten by its handlers sparked outrage on social media. The video that has gone viral shows an elephant tied to a tree being thrashed by two men using canes, and has prompted questions over how animals are treated in captivity.

The video, that was reportedly shot in Kerala’s Thrissur district, is allegedly of an elephant named Karnan, and the animal was earlier cared for by a temple. The video shows two men trying to push the elephant to do something, while one of its legs is tied with a rope to a nearby tree. As the tusker refuses to perform, one of the men is seen beating the animal with a cane, while another is seen poking its leg with a stick, trying to force it to stand up.

The pachyderm is seen lying on the ground after some time, but the physical abuse doesn’t stop. The video below shows animal cruelty and may be distressing for viewers.

As the footage went viral, many slammed the men in the video and said authorities need to take action against them. While some criticised the individual recording the video, a man who shared the video on Twitter explained that video was important because it provided proof of the abuse.

Volunteers at Voice for Asian Elephants Society later said they had intervened and rescued the elephant. The agency tweeted: “Our founder has filed a complaint against owners & mahouts. A Case was booked by Trissur district forest officers – mahouts were fired. The elephant has been transferred to Palakkad district & is monitored closely by the forest dept.”

According to the first survey of elephants in captivity, that was part of an affidavit the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) submitted to the Supreme Court, 58 per cent of all captive elephants is concentrated in two states: 905 in Assam and 518 in Kerala.