At Rajasthan’s Amer Fort, Elephant Gouri’s Rides Halted
JAIPUR, (IANS) – Following a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Amer resident Roopnarayan Koolwal, the director of archaeology and museums in Rajasthan has temporarily barred ‘Gouri’ from giving rides for 45 days due to tourist safety concerns.
PETA India and Koolwal recently met with the chief secretary of Rajasthan and demanded the rehabilitation of elephants ‘Gouri’ and ‘Malti’. Both elephants have a history of attacking humans and animals out of frustration from being used for rides. Koolwal was hospitalized in October 2022 after an attack by Gouri.
Gouri’s rides can be resumed once a medical report has been submitted. However, PETA India Director of Advocacy Projects Khushboo Gupta expressed concern, stating that a physical veterinary examination is not an accurate reflection of an elephant’s mental state.
PETA India urges the chief minister to relocate Gouri and Malti to reputable sanctuaries where they can live unchained and recover from their trauma. Currently, both elephants are in the illegal custody of private individuals.
Malti, who is used for tourist rides at Amer Fort, has displayed signs of severe psychological distress in captive elephants, such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing. Veterinarians have confirmed her psychological suffering through video footage.
Malti has a history of running amok and fighting with another elephant, resulting in public beatings. It is important to note that when elephants attack humans, punishments such as beatings only exacerbate their frustration and distress. Furthermore, elephants can be carriers of tuberculosis, which can infect humans.
PETA India has previously highlighted the use of elephants with tuberculosis for rides, which violates several laws including the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972; The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001; and a 2010 circular from the Rajasthan government mandating the registration of elephants used in performances.