Killed for ivory, elephant is most exploited animal

Despite elephant-headed Ganesha being widely worshipped across India, at least 100 elephants die every year in the country, with many poached for ivory and many more captured and sold to traffickers. Incidents of cruelty against elephants are many. The most recent being the rescue of a “begging elephant” from Uttar Pradesh after five decades of slavery, and also the seizure of 536 kg ivory in Kerala. Years of exploitation has made the Asian elephant, an endangered species. 

On World Elephant Day (August 12), the torture faced by this majestic animal that is behind many a joy ride, circus performance and even temple blessing calls for more sensitivity towards treatment of the elephant.  For a juvenile elephant, the degree of the torture is three times more in order to “break it”. After this “orientation” — which involves starvation, piercing of the ears with hot iron rods and pulling a rope through the pierced holes to restrict its movement, these animals are sold to circuses, temples, the timber-lifting trade.

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