In Tamil Nadu, temple elephant beaten, abused by mahouts | VIDEO | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

In Tamil Nadu, temple elephant beaten, abused by mahouts | VIDEO

Aug 27, 2022 10:41 AM IST

This is not the first time ‘Jeymalyatha’ was seen being beaten up. A video went viral last year showing the same elephant being tortured by mahouts at a rejuvenation camp in Tamil Nadu.

An elephant in Tamil Nadu's Nagercoil district is tortured and beaten - by the man supposed to be her caretaker – in a widely-shared video that has triggered furious protests by animal rights activists and organisation. The elephant - named Joymala or Jeymalyatha – was reportedly transported from Assam, where she was initially kept under illegal custody.

Screengrab taken from viral video: Temple elephant Jeymalyatha was repeatedly tortured by her mahouts in Tamil Nadu. (Twitter)
Screengrab taken from viral video: Temple elephant Jeymalyatha was repeatedly tortured by her mahouts in Tamil Nadu. (Twitter)

The video of Jeymalyatha, a captive elephant held by a temple, was circulated online after her horrific condition came to the attention of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (India).

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The abuse - some of which can be seen in the video - includes the use of sticks, pliers and chains to inflict pain. The elephant can be heard screaming.

This is the second video about Jeymalyatha; last year a video showed her being beaten at a 'rejuvenation' camp in the southern state, PETA claimed in a statement. Hindustan Times cannot independently verify either of the videos.

The animal rights group submitted a veterinary inspection report to forest department officials in Tamil Nadu and Assam showing continued abuse of Joymala.

PETA says the elephant was held illegally by the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple for over a decade and was then also seen at the nearby Krishnan Kovil temple.

"Cruelty to Jeymalyatha appears to be so routine the mahout used pliers to painfully twist her skin to control her even in front of the inspectors. Numerous ankuses were found in the shed in which she’s chained by two legs for up to 16 hours a day," PETA said.

"There have been numerous incidents in Tamil Nadu and throughout India in which frustrated captive elephants have attacked or killed their mahouts."

The group, in its report, gave examples of recent incidents like Deivanai from Assam who killed her mahout and Masinsi in Trichy.

PETA also noted they had to gather evidence of the latest outrage covertly as the mahout refused to allow the team to take photographs and/or videos.

After protests that followed the release of the first video, Tamil Nadu's Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department suspended the two mahouts involved.

"Despite these actions, the second video showed Jeymalyatha’s abuse continued at the hands of another mahout..." PETA said. The organisation has demanded her release.

An FIR has been filed - based on two videos and under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In addition, a wildlife offence report under the Wild Life (Protection) Act and Tamil Nadu Captive Elephant (Management and Maintenance) Rules has also been registered, PETA said.

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