WE DEMAND RESCUE FOR GAJRAJ AT SATARA TEMPLE, in Maharashtra: 50 years of captivity, 4 legs chained, sores! ENOUGH!

  • by: Rita Claessens Elephant Freedom Fighters
  • recipient: igpe-mef@nic.in; marapandian@gmail.com; phedoc@who.int; minister-forest@kerala.gov.in; web.newdelhi@fco.gov.uk; fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk; pccf.for@kerala.gov.in; apccf-bdc.for@kerala.gov.in; cww.for@kerala.gov.in; dgp.pol@kerala.gov.in, India


This is the shocking condition of an elephant held in captivity for 50 years and dying in agony in his brutal shackles. Heartbreaking images show Gajraj, kept as a tourist attraction at a temple in Satara, India, with the tips of his tusks hacked off and open sores where chains are clamped around his legs.

The 63-year-old animal is also reported to be showing severe psychological anguish brought about by isolation and the abusive treatment he receives in captivity.

Pictures show how the ends of his tusk have been chopped off. In other cases, the excuse is given that this makes elephants easier to handle, but campaigners say the ivory is often sold off for use in medicines.

According to The Sun, the elephant - once used by his masters to beg for money - is kept at what is described as a place of 'serenity and bliss'. However, a source told the Sun: 'Veterinarians who have paid frequent visits to Gajraj over the years describe being assaulted by the foul stench of his accumulated dung and urine before they even see him.'

The source said that the elephant was taken to the area as a 12-year-old from Madhya Pradesh 500 miles away in 1965.

We demand immediate medical treatment for this elephant and to be released to an appropriate sanctuary where he can live his days out in peace and good health.

Info & Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/50-years-hell-elephant-dying-c…

Dear Sirs,

 It has come to my attention that Gajraj held in captivity at a temple in Satara is in a shocking condition, tethered at all 4 legs, with open wounds and sores that are developped where the chains are locked around his legs. The ends of his tusks are chopped off. He has painful abcesses on his back. He is dying in agony in his brutal shackles. The 63 years old elephant is in psychological distress and anguish, due to his isolation and abusive treatments he gets in captivity. 

The elephant was believed to have been taken to that place as a 12 year old from Madya Pradesh, only 500 km away. He was once used as a begging elephant by his owners.

Many signatures are being collected from around the world by worried and compassionate elephant advocates and activists. We demand an immediate investigation, a team of vets to treat his wounds and bad health, the relocation of Gajraj to an appropriate sanctuary where he can live his years out in peace and in good care.

Please keep me informed about the steps that will be taken.


Rita Claessens

Elephant Freedom Fighters


Update #16 years ago
Gajraj has been rescued and is now living at WildlifeSOS for the rest of his life. Thank you all for signing this petition. Petition will be closed now.
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