In Chennai, India, two mahouts tied a 19-year-old female elephant to a tree this week and purposely beat her on her legs while the defenseless pachyderm screamed out in pain. A video, taken by an enraged visitor, reported the disturbing situation to authorities.
Each time one of the sticks whipped her, the elephant lifted her leg and cried out in pain.
According to India.com, the elephant had disobeyed her trainers in a camp at Thekkampatti, and mahouts Vinil Kuman and Sivaprasad continued to whip the elephant named Jayamalyatha with sticks.
The short video has drawn condemnation from wildlife activists and animal lovers after it was posted to Twitter by R. Akileish. The HR&CE [Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments) department who organized the two-month religious event, stated the two mahouts have been suspended from their jobs pending an investigation. A total of 26 elephants from various temples were brought together for the annual rejuvenation camp earlier in February.
The men told authorities that Jayamalyatha had not obeyed their commands, and they tied her to a tree and hit her to teach her a lesson.
After this video went viral, the Forest Department has arrested the elephant’s mahout Vinil Kumar and his assistant Sivaprasad on Friday evening. Prior to this, the HR&CE Department suspended the mahout.
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