Sunder en Route to His New Home

We are overjoyed to report that the much abused young elephant Sunder was placed on a truck by a team of experts who had traveled to Kolhapur to work with the Maharashtra Forest Department and is now being driven carefully and slowly to his new home as per the order of the Supreme Court of India. The transition was not easy.This progress was made after a great deal of struggle, including dealing with sabotage by screaming men, near rioting, tires which were punctured with nails by those who wanted to keep Sunder in Kolhapur to endure a life of abuse and a mahout (elephant handler) who shouted the wrong commands in order to agitate Sunder. Even now, a motorcycle gang is following the truck, despite police protection. The police and Maharashtra Forest Department officials as well as the experts who traveled to Kolhapur to assist with Sunder’s move are travelling with Sunder.

We are hoping for the best on this journey, which will take several days. Please hope along with us, and thanks for all your calls, letters, e-mails and good wishes.

Here are a few pictures of Sunder on his way.



Cross posted from 



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  • Jacquie Schmidt

    Yeeee-haaaaa! I cannot believe it after all this time! Best wishes to our beloved Sunder. We love you, sweetie!!

  • Kathy

    This is great news! I’m so happy for Sunder. He’s free — as he should be. And thank you to the Supreme Court of India for making this happen. God Bless.


    It’s about time saunder got a chance to be free. I have been doing PETA action alerts to free Saunder for a long time.

  • Nan Newall

    THANK YOU to those who have dedicated their time, energy, and money to make sure this gentle, sentient being will live the rest of his life in dignity and freedom. I am hoping Sunder’s case will set a precedent and more and more abused and tortured animals will enjoy their freedom soon.

  • Stephanie

    That motorcycle gang following them makes me nervous. I hope that he arrives safely and they don’t try to hurt him or sabotage his new life. I hope wherever Sunder goes that he is finally shown kindness, caring and love and that he can heal from his previous abuse.

  • PJ Garron

    PLEASE KEEP US POSTED during his journey !! How is he doing ? Is he handling the trip well ? Will there be stops along the way for fresh greens ?

  • Giuliana Rinaldo

    Finally Sunder is FREE!!! I am so overjoyed with happiness and relief for Sunder. I shared my views and support for Sunder in a couple of petitions to help free Sunder, so I am so relieved and happy that he will get the love, care, peace, & happiness he so deserves. To say this is long overdue is an understatement! Thank you Peta for your always forthright intention and tenacity to help free Sunder and as you do for so many animals.

    Please give us an update later to see and read how Sunder is doing in the sanctuary – Much Thanks!

  • anna obuck

    if you change nothing , nothing will change you may never know what results come of your actions,but if you do nothing ,there will be no results ,, so happy , i can cry ,thank you

  • Vikram Patel

    Thank you, Supreme Court of India, PETA, and all the dedicated people who are making this happen. May Sunder live in dignity, freedom,and happiness.

  • Gabriel Kopca

    Sunder, although big in size, is only a Child, and he will always be. Animals are after all, forever Children, regardless of their size, or age. Animal cruelty and abuse is the greatest and most blatant form of child abuse, conveniently overlooked by the Institutions, whose priority is to protect and shield those who profit from it. Sunder, my best wishes for you, hoping that you will find the relief and Peace that you are so rightly endowed to. Thanks to the Supreme Court for standing on your side and for the hard and difficult work of those who only wish to see you live your life the best way possible.

  • Anya

    well thank goodness he’s FINALLY free, lets just hope the trip is safe and hopefully doesnt stress Sunder out too much…poor thing. cant even imagine what a sorry life this lovely boy must have had. however, im VERY proud of our brothers and sisters in India, who have shown such dedication to making sure that the abuse comes to end. thank you guys, we love you and we are working on issues here in the states- we got your back!!!
    stay safe everyone, and blessed journey to you, Sunder, its been a long time coming, but we shall try to make up for the injustice you’ve faced at the hands of our fellow humans.

  • Rachael RH

    Bless you Sunder and Thank-you to the wonderful people who have coordinated his release from pain & suffering. I signed a petition for him and I am just so glad that I did. I really believe that if everyone signed for the causes the believe in – we CAN make a difference! With love from Australia xxx

  • Katie

    I’m so happy for Sunder! Amazing job to everyone who fought for Sunders life! I hope they make it to the sanctuary ok and that the police can get rid of the motorcycle gang. Everyone celebrate! Another life has been saved and now starts life for Sunder! Good luck little buddy!

  • Kara Barnes

    I am so happy for Sunder. He will have a chance to be a free elephant. Thank god for PETA.

  • Merle Foster

    Very happy to know that Sunder is hopefully on his way to a much better and safer life in the future. Do hope that he is able to spend many years of ‘freedom’.

  • Beth

    Thank you for this update. And for all your work to help make this happen. I hope the ride goes smoothly. I am saying a prayer for Sunder’s safe arrival to and peaceful life at the sanctuary. I look forward to more updates.

  • emily

    I’m incredibly overjoyed! What abuse that poor elephant has suffered. I heard he really enjoyed the trip and they took several breaks along the way so Sunder could get out and stretch. The first new friend he met was a giant bull elephant. Sunder was very nervous as the elephant approached him, reached out with his trunk and touched lil Sunder. In return, Sunder did the same and the vet for PETA said “for the first time I saw Sunder’s eye’s glow”. What a beautiful story. Thank you PETA, thank you to everyone who cared about this lil boy Sunder.

    Please everyone continue on in helping elephants who are being abused far worse by circus handlers. One particular elephant at Carson Barnes circus was beat by 7 grown men in the head with metal pipes. One would stab her legs to keep her off balanced. The attack went on for several minutes, the entire time the elephant was screaming. She urinated and defecated on herself which demonstrates severe trauma. Another elephant at the circus fell off the back of the trailer twice before she succomed to her fatal injuries. Please look into these issues further and speak out against the circus. We have many more Sunder’s to save.