Who could forget this majestic elephant’s rescue? Sunder left behind his life in chains in 2014, and today, he enjoys care, companionship, and freedom to roam at the Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP).
Sunder’s expert caretakers allow him to live chain-free, even during musth, which is an annual period of a few months during which male elephants experience heightened aggression caused by a large increase in their testosterone levels. Their temporal glands, which are on either side of their forehead, also secrete a thick tar-like substance called temporin and swell in size, which can cause pain.
Because of humans’ fear of their unpredictable behavior, captive male elephants are often chained during this time. Before Sunder was rescued, he lived in a temple and was kept in tight chains—not just during musth but every day. Now a happy resident of the BBBP, he’s able to move around as he pleases, and he’ll never be chained again.
Animal Rahat staff and Sunder’s caretakers at the BBBP want these photos to serve as a reminder that musth is a natural phenomenon during which male elephants should be provided with a safe and secure place to walk about freely—and that all elephants deserve a life free from chains during every month of the year.