After spending years in isolation and miserable conditions, "Sunder," an elephant who has been at the center of a massive animal welfare campaign in recent years, will finally be moved to a sanctuary, thanks to a court ruling. The announcement comes after a nearly two-year-long campaign by animal welfare advocates for his freedom.
The Honourable Bombay High Court ruled in favour of PETA India by upholding a previous ruling by the government of Maharashtra on Monday, the last hurdle that campaigners working to save Sunder had to overcome. The ruling will enforce that previous measure, which in August 2012 ordered officials to release Sunder to a sanctuary.
Originally, Sunder was given as a gift to a temple in Kolhapur, India, and kept chained there and abused for six years, until the Maharashtra Forest Department and Project Elephant ordered the temple to send him to a sanctuary in 2012. But the elephant was instead sent to what PETA called an "old dark poultry shed in Warananagar" -- and where footage was taken showing handlers abusing him.