Having already grabbed national attention with the shoot of his compelling ad decrying the chaining and confinement of elephants in zoos due to be released in the coming months, acting sensation Rahul Khanna wanted to do even more to raise awareness about the plight of jailed elephants.
So Rahul has teamed up with his pals at petaDishoom – PETA India’s fast-growing youth-programme –for a giveaway of the book Elephants – A Portrait of the Animal World at petaDishoom.com autographed by Rahul, himself. All that visitors to the site have to do is register to win before September 15.
Excerpts from an interview with the actor
“[Elephants] remind me of humans in the way they nurture each other’s children and mourn for their dead”, says Rahul. “These sensitive creatures should not be chained away from [their] natural habitat and fellow species.”
Rahul also had some poignant advice for India’s youth: “Don’t wear blinders”, he says. “Acknowledge animal abuse and spread the word in order to cause change.”
And he’s a big fan of petaDishoom.com: “I think it’s a great way to spread PETA’s message. If young people have a place where they can discuss animal welfare, they can also work together to effect change.”
Why do Rahul and petaDishoom want to break the chains of elephant bondage? Elephants in Indian zoos live in appalling conditions.
Some are chained year-round, and many suffer from malnutrition. Kept in tiny, barren enclosures that could never simulate their natural habitat, elephants in zoos frequently suffer from zoochosis, a form of mental anguish caused by the impoverished environment.
In captivity, elephants often die before age 40 from foot disorders and arthritis. In the wild, elephants can live to be 70.
PETA advocates that zoos must begin phasing out their elephant exhibits by ending any future attempts to breed them or capture more elephants from the wild.