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.
Karnan the gentle giant,once a temple elephant ,being mercilessly beaten up in thrissur ,kerala pic.twitter.com/hNNGF7VyID
— 𝓹𝓻𝓪𝓶𝓸𝓭 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓭𝓻𝓪𝓼𝓮𝓴𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓪𝓷 (@pramodchandrase) March 25, 2019
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.
Every animal case go by video evidence as per AWBI ,so who ever took video has that presence of mind! Elephant is rescued by forest department and is with them and cases filed against owner!
— 𝓹𝓻𝓪𝓶𝓸𝓭 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓭𝓻𝓪𝓼𝓮𝓴𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓪𝓷 (@pramodchandrase) March 26, 2019
Man’s cruelty & indifference Mark’s hin out as being worse than animals in his unrefined & crude natural state. https://t.co/HlRw0PhnFA
— Dharma First – For a truly independent India (@viryavaan) March 26, 2019
it tears me up to watch something like this https://t.co/LkWJS4M32I
— Prashant Sharma (@prashant__shrma) March 26, 2019
— !ns0mn!@c n0m@d (@insomniacnomad) March 26, 2019
Beat them in the same manner and they will feel what the merciless torture is! Damn morons mustn’t be spared and brought to justice under POCA Act.
— Chowkidar🅐🅐🅓🅘🅛 🇮🇳 (@AadilGorkha) March 26, 2019
We need to know what action has been taken. Beat these men so much, that their legs shiver in pain, the same what was felt by the elephant. How gruesome? Tears
— Ratnesh Mootha (@ratneshmootha) March 27, 2019
This happens when new mahouts take charge and it’s not legal and they want the elephant under their control
— Chowkidar Ajeeth S Nair🇮🇳 (@AjeethSNair) March 26, 2019
Animals are far more better than humans
Infact human being is the most dangerous animal in this world.
This is shameful
— Chowkidar §¡ngh 🐯 G@ur@v (@gaurav_libra) March 26, 2019
Who are these inhuman beings. ?They worship Lord Ganesha and beating inocent elephant.They are not human beings.Drastic action should be taken.Stingent punishment should be given under wild life act.@Manekagandhibjp ,@peta ,@PetaIndia ,@pcta,@SCofInd ,@SCofIndia https://t.co/XeF57vUwfh
— malay datta (@malaydatta8) March 26, 2019
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.”
@vfaes_org has investigated this story. 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 being monitored closely by the forest dept.
— VFAES (@vfaes_org) March 26, 2019
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.