Mary McCartney/MPL Communications Ltd.A recently launched initiative backed by Paul McCartney seeking the release from captivity of a young elephant named Sunder that reportedly was abused by its handler apparently has been successful. According to a new message from the Indian branch of animal-rights organization PETA, Sunder, who for seven years had been kept chained in an unlit shed at a temple in the Indian state of Maharashtra, will be set free soon.
PETA launched an online petition three months ago in support of the 13-year-old elephant that implored Maharashtra's Foreign Minister, Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam, to come to the animal's aid. As part of the campaign, McCartney penned a letter asking Kadam for his help.
PETA India now reports that Kadam has ordered that Sunder be released from the temple and sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Bangalore, India.
"The difference between Sunder's cruel life in chains at the temple and his new journey to freedom, love and care is like night and day," PETA India official Dr. Manilal Valliyate says in a statement. "We are grateful to the Forest Minister for agreeing to liberate Sunder and let him enjoy the things that are natural and important to him for the first time in his life."
More than 13,000 people in India alone reportedly gave their backing to the petition.
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