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28 Feb, 2024 16:43

Woman attacked by ‘frustrated’ elephant (VIDEO)

Animal rights activists have been pleading with authorities for over a year to stop using the injured animal for tourist rides
Woman attacked by ‘frustrated’ elephant (VIDEO)

A Russian tourist broke her foot after an elephant used for rides picked her up, swung her around, and slammed her on the ground in Rajasthan, India. The incident occurred earlier this month outside Amer Fort, a popular destination for tourists, according to animal rights group PETA.

On Wednesday, the group uploaded a video on X (formerly Twitter) showing surveillance camera footage of the incident and highlighting the plight of the animal. In its post, PETA alleged that the elephant was “frustrated” due to the “mental trauma of a lifetime of enslavement.”

In 2022, the same elephant attacked a shopkeeper near the fort, breaking his ribs and one of his legs. The activists claim that the elephant has been used for tourist rides for more than 20 years.

The organization has written to state officials, including the deputy chief minister, calling for the elephant to be moved to a sanctuary “where she could begin to recover from the mental trauma of a lifetime of enslavement.”

It has also renewed calls for elephant rides to be replaced with “eco-friendly motorized vehicles” as per a government-sanctioned commission’s recommendation.

Gouri’s case is not unique. In 2017, another elephant called Malti that was used for carrying tourists at Amer Fort was beaten by its handlers after it fought with another elephant – which animal rights activists attributed to serious psychological distress. Footage of the elephant being surrounded and beaten with sticks went viral on social media.

However, the elephant was apparently still used for rides up until last year, despite the Rajasthan Forest Department retiring 20 medically unfit elephants at Amer Fort in 2020, according to media reports.

At a press conference in February 2023, PETA stated that Malti was showing signs of severe psychological distress and sought the intervention of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

A report commissioned by the Animal Welfare Board of India in 2018 found that 19 out of 102 elephants used for tourist rides at Amer Fort were either fully or partially blind, while nine others were suffering from tuberculosis. Almost all of the animals were said to be suffering from physical ailments.

Citing the same report, PETA said that Gouri, who attacked the woman earlier this month, has been kept in Rajasthan illegally without an ownership certificate.

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