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Chained, beaten, whipped and exploited like slaves: The hidden horrors of India’s temple elephants

The young elephant had been snatched from his family and spent the next 50 years forced by his handler to beg in the street, starved, frightened and suffering infected wounds to his flesh.

JANE DALTON: ‘When Audrey Gaffney first read about Raju, an elephant kept in chains with spikes embedded in his ankles, she couldn’t stop the tears pouring down her face. “In fact, I cried again and again: I found over the next few days I just couldn’t get this story out of my head, I couldn’t stop thinking about Raju,” she recalls. “I couldn’t believe the cruelty of my race”…

The young elephant had been snatched from his family, she explains – his mother either would have been killed or spent weeks searching and crying for him – and he was beaten into submission. Raju then spent the next 50 years forced by his handler to beg in the street, starved, frightened and suffering infected wounds to his flesh. By the time of his rescue, he had resorted to eating plastic and paper…

Taken from their families in the wild, shackled, beaten, whipped and exploited like slaves, these elephants – ironically India’s icons – are painted and dressed in colourful decorations, to be paraded in regular festivals and processions organised by religious temples. They are the world’s forgotten elephant victims of mankind’. SOURCE…

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