Warning: Distressing content
An animal rights group has won a small but significant victory over elephant abusers after a video of an animal being beaten went viral recently.
The footage, which was shared on Twitter last month, shows handlers mercilessly beat a tied up elephant into submission with long metal poles as the tired animal lies down while the men continued to attack the innocent animal.
You can watch the video, which contains distressing scenes, below:
The attack against the elephant, reportedly named Karnan, took place in the district of Thrissur in the southern Indian state of Kerala three months ago, according to one animal rights group.
But the horrifying footage was shared on Twitter after the incident and nearly 100,000 people using the sharing site have watched the disturbing scene go down in recent weeks.
The viral video was picked up by an animals rights NGO based in India and they recently confirmed on their Facebook page the traction picked up online had helped them bring the animals abusers to justice.
The animal rights group Voice for Asian Elephants Society (VFAES) said on social media:
VFAES in action! This video went viral this week, though the incident was 3 months ago. At the time, our founder #SangitaIyer filed a complaint against the owners and mahouts.
A case was booked by Thrissur district forest officers. The mahouts were fired. The elephant has been transferred to Palakkad district, and is being monitored closely by the forest department.
This is one of the effective ways that #VoiceforAsianElephantsSociety is making changes happen for these gentle giants.
VFAES have since forged partnerships with relevant Kerala ministries to provide positive reinforcement training to elephants.
However, it’s unclear whether the local authorities are following up on the NGO’s complaint.
Meanwhile, many of the elephants found in Kerala are privately owned – sometimes kept in captivity at prominent temple sites – to make money from the tourism industries and revered within the culture.
@vfaes_org has investigated this story. Our founder has filed a complaint against owners & mahouts. A Case was booked by Trissur district forest officers. Mahouts were fired. The elephant has been transferred to Palakkad district, & is being monitored closely by the forest dept.
— VFAES (@vfaes_org) March 26, 2019
The Asian Elephant is listed as endangered by the World Wildlife Fund, with populations declining by at least 50 per cent over the last three generations, and they’re still in decline today.
They estimate numbers are only between 40,000 and 50,000, as the survival of the species is threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, as well as conflict with humans.
Elephants used to roam across most of Asia, but now they’re restricted to just 15 per cent of their original range.
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