It Is What It Is

Dr. Rex …. Blogging for change.

It Is What It Is

The tale of “Sunder” …. an abused elephant!!


~~April 13, 2014~~


Thanks to all of YOUR help, court passes landmark decision to free Sunder from 6 long years of being chained and beaten.


Sunder is 14 years old, a young juvenile boy, and has spent the past six years chained inside a dismal shed at a temple in Kolhapur. His previous mahout (handler) grossly abused him, and Sunder bears the scars to prove it. He now has a new mahout, with whom the Animal Rahat vets have made it a top priority to try to develop a good rapport, but the mahout, believe it or not, is afraid of Sunder and has never taken him off the chains, not even for a walk.

The temple authorities resisted giving the Rahat team access to Sunder, but they were able to succeed through a combination of Dr. Sudheesh’s impressive military credentials and because one of Animal Rahat’s ambulance drivers is related to a priest in the temple.

It’s all about who you know!

After examining Sunder, Rahat’s vets determined that he was anemic and dehydrated and has proptosis (bulging) of one of his eyes, probably because of head trauma, most likely from being severely beaten for being mischievous as a youngster.

Thanks to the support of caring people like you, there is hope for the first time ever for Sunder, and time is of the essence.

If Animal Rahat does not get him proper care now, he will suffer unimaginably when he goes into musth (breeding rage). Vets have embarked on a solid plan to improve Sunder’s living conditions — the immediate priorities are to get him out of his dark and damp enclosure, establish a decent watering system, get the mahout to walk him daily, and improve the amount and quality of his food.

What Animal Rahat will ultimately try to do is get him away from there, but that mountain is a high one to climb.



MUMBAI: On Monday, April 2014, during a Bombay high court hearing, Peta’s lawyers Shiraz Rustomjee and Rohan Rajadhyaksha presented finding by elephant experts Dr. EK Easwaran, assistant director, department of animal husbandry, Kerala and Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, senior veterinary officer, Wildlife SOS-India who visited 14-year-old elephant Sunder on February 19 and argued that Sunder is being kept so harshly chained that he’s unable to lie down.

The findings showed that Sunder is displaying signs of severe frustration and mental distress through constant head wobbling, swaying and other abnormal repetitive movements. As per the report and evidence submitted to the court, Sunder was displaying aggressive behavior only towards his own mahout, Hyder, and no aggression towards other people during the inspection, indicating that Sunder feels threatened by his own mahout.

Sunder is at the center of a case in which PETA is calling for the animal’s release to a sanctuary. 


Member of legislative assembly Vinay Kore donated Sunder to Jyotiba temple in 2007, and the elephant has been kept chained since then.

In December 2013, PETA obtained video footage showing that Sunder’s mahout violently beat him with a pole near a poultry shed where he had been moved at the behest of Kore.

That same month, the high court of Bombay ordered Sunder’s transfer to a sanctuary, but he is yet to be released by principal chief conservator of forests Sarjan Bhagat. Kore and the Kolhapur division of the forest department claimed this is because Sunder is in musth (a period of heightened sexual urge, which can make captive bull elephants aggressive from frustration) and cannot be transported. 

However, the recent experts’ report clarified that Sunder is not showing signs of normal musth condition, but ‘moda’ (adolescent) musth, and pointed out that Sunder can be transported to a sanctuary and that he should be, to avoid further damage to his mental status. The report also confirmed that Sunder’s current housing facilities are grim and do not even meet the minimum basic standards. 


Sunder is denied everything that is natural and important to him and lives in fear.


Principal Chief Conservator of Forests SWH Naqvi has still not transferred Sunder, a 14-year-old elephant who had been chained for years at the Jyotiba Temple in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, to the sanctuary in Karnataka that has been identified for him by PETA – despite Maharashtra Minister of Forests Dr Patangrao Kadam’s order calling for Sunder’s release. Naqvi has the responsibility to follow the Minister’s order but seems to lack the will to do so. It is thought that Sunder has been hidden by temple authorities in a dark, heavily guarded poultry shed behind a dairy facility.

Sunder has been denied freedom of movement, and on the rare occasions when he was taken for a short walk at the temple, he was kept in spiked chains. Because of the abusive treatment at the hands of his mahout, Sunder was found by PETA with wounds all over his body and a damaged eye.

Elephants are highly intelligent and social animals. In nature, they spend around 18 hours a day walking, feeding, bathing in watering holes and interacting with other elephants, and females live in close-knit family groups for life.

Elephants held in captivity are separated from their families as babies and are sentenced to a lifetime of confinement, boredom, loneliness and abuse.

Temple elephant Sunder chained up in his shed at Jyotiba temple in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.  Scars can be seen on the animal's legs, caused by the chains. Abuse of the elephant prompted Sir Paul McCartney to write to the Indian government demanding the animal be set free.

Constantly kept in chains, many exhibit signs of mental illness, including repetitive swaying, rocking and head-bobbing. The chains also cause painful wounds and pressure sores, which often become infected. The lack of exercise and the years spent standing on hard concrete amid their own waste lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis. The severe confinement has led Sunder to act out in frustration, creating a risk for temple authorities and visitors.

Please help PETA in urging authorities to immediately transfer Sunder to the sanctuary in Karnataka that has been identified for him by PETA.

~~Written by PETA~~

Renowned Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal has donated two billboards to PETA India calling for the release of an abused 14-year-old elephant named Sunder. PETA India is seeking Sunder’s rescue via a case in the High Court of Bombay.

One of the billboards has been placed in Nagpur, the site of the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sarjan Bhagat, and the other in Kolhapur, where Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore is based.


Kore donated Sunder to the Jyotiba temple in 2007, and the elephant has been kept chained and inside dark sheds for most of that time. In December 2013, PETA obtained video footage showing that Sunder’s mahout violently beat him with a pole near a poultry shed where he had been moved at the behest of Kore.

 That same month, the High Court of Bombay ordered Sunder’s transfer to a sanctuary, but he has yet to be released by Bhagat. The actor has also offered to donate a life-size statue of an elephant to the Jyotiba temple in exchange for transferring Sunder to a sanctuary as identified by PETA. He added that the statue would allow devotees to “pay tribute to Lord Ganesha and honor all elephants, including Sunder“.


Joining Rampal in his call for Sunder’s release have been Amitabh BachchanMadhuri DixitR MadhavanRaveena Tandon and many other top celebrities as well as more than one lakh people, who have signed PETA India’s online petition.

You can help #Free Sunder. Take action today.



~~Bombay High Court orders Sunder’s release~~


~~Published on Apr 7, 2014~~

The Bombay High Court has ordered the release of Sunder the elephant into a sanctuary. 14-year-old Sunder who has been in captivity and was kept chained inside a dark shed at a Temple in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra for seven years will finally be free from the torture.

The Bombay High Court asks authorities to implement a state government order to release Sunder into the wild that was issued in August 2012.

We ALL are connected through NATURE!!


We ALL are ONE!! 


We ALL are connected through HUMANITY!!


The Cruelty of Horse-Drawn Carriages …. a reader’s commentary!

~~April 9, 2014~~ 

I prepared a post a few days ago about the plight of horse drawn carriages. Most of the information showed facts about the current situation in New York City where Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to do away with this practice.

He announced what one of his first initiatives as mayor would be:

“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City,” he said. “They’re not humane; they’re not appropriate to the year 2014; it’s over.”

Horse carriage rides are a staple in cities around the country. Animal rights activists have argued for decades that the practice is inhumane, and they’ve been gaining some political allies.

Horse Carriage PoliticsDebate Over NYC Carriage Horses Intensifies After 2 Horses Collapse In A Month




I just wanted to mention that several of those pictures are not of NYC horses. They were taken from 3rd world countries, as though they are stock photos. The chestnut horse with the open wound, is not a NYC carriage horse, that isn’t even NYC. The white horse is also not a NYC carriage horse. That is inaccurate journalism. Please take the time to study and understand equine conditions and equine behavior before sensationalism. Stable conditions in Mumbai are not equivalent to the stable conditions in America.

If one wishes to expose the horrors of the equine condition a better more helpful expose on horse slaughter plant conditions would be more useful. Starved horses found at animal hoarder’s properties would better serve the equine population. Investigate Premerin production, nurse mares and Big Lick trainers. While your intentions are understood and appreciated for the concern for animals is evident, there are far more pressing and damaging issues for horse welfare in this country than NYC carriage jobs. The carriage horses get well cared for and it is well documented. They have 5 month’s vacation on farms, veterinarian care and hoof care as well as getting to work in a job they were bred for.

Please look to the real horrors that horses face in this country. The horses in those conditions need your support and efforts. Those are the desperate horses, those are the ones who are starving, neglected, mistreated and need most urgent care.”

~~Here is the link to the Initial post~~


I wish to state that the comment has been taken to heart. The initial post was reviewed and the Mumbai picture was removed. Interesting to state that the pictures of New York City’s stable were not that much better.

The other included pictures were confirmed to be from New York City.

The reader has given me information that is worth looking into:

To expose the horrors of the equine condition a better more helpful expose on horse slaughter plant conditions would be more useful. Starved horses found at animal hoarder’s properties would better serve the equine population. Investigate Premerin production, nurse mares and Big Lick trainers”. 

I will try to look into these new topics and research more.


On another note, a post of the horrors of horse racing was also written.

~~You can find it here~~


We ALL are connected through NATURE!! 

We ALL are ONE!! 

Miley, sad story … with a very happy ending!!

~~April 3, 2014~~

~Left To Die In A Trash Heap, Abandoned Dog Gets Remarkable Second Chance~

A moving video of the extraordinary recovery – and resilience – of an abandoned dog who was left to die in a trash heap is reminding us this week of the healing power of love, friendship and second chances.

On Nov. 15, 2013, when Eldad Hagar first laid eyes on Miley, an abandoned dog living among piles of trash on the outskirts of Los Angeles, his heart broke.


“When I got there, I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Hagar, the co-founder of animal rescue organization Hope For Paws, told The Huffington Post of his first encounter with the pup. “It’s almost as if this place was struck by a tsunami.”

Miley, covered in mange and infections, was so lifeless and defeated that Hagar, who recorded the dog’s rescue on camera, says she “didn’t even have the energy” to run away from him as he approached her.

Hagar says he rushed to Miley’s side after he heard about the pooch’s plight from a local resident. The tipster told him that Miley had been living in the trash heap for at least a few months. It is believed that she was abandoned by her owners.

Though he knew that Miley wouldn’t be in good shape, Hagar says he was still shocked when he finally made contact with her. Her physical deterioration was “definitely one of the worst cases” he’d ever seen, he said.

He knew he had to get Miley to a hospital right away.

Gaining the pup’s trust was no easy feat, however. Hagar says he offered her food and sat with her in the pile of trash for an hour before she was finally ready to leave with him. Then he got her into his car to be brought to the vet.

“She was very lucky we rescued her when we did, because her condition would have continued to deteriorate until she would have died a miserable and painful death,” Hagar said.

After examining Miley, veterinarian Dr. Lisa Youn discovered that the pooch wasn’t just suffering from mange and bacterial infections, but parasites and malnutrition, as well.

“She was in so much pain,” Hagar said.


Over the next two weeks, Miley got intensive medical care and was treated with antibiotics, medicine for parasites and frequent medicated baths. Slowly but surely, her spirits began to lift.

It wasn’t, however, until Miley found a best friend that her recovery took a dramatic turn for the better. Miley met Frankie the chihuahua after he was rescued from a sewer tunnel by Hagar and a friend. The tiny dog had almost drowned, Hagar said, because of a spell of heavy rain.

“He was so scared of everything,” Hagar wrote of Frankie in the video. “Miley took Frankie under her wing and they quickly became really good friends.”

miley dog

Miley and Frankie, who are wonderfully affectionate with each other, are said to be doing well.

The “worst part is behind them,” Hagar told the HuffPost, adding that Miley should be “100 percent” in a few months.


A homeless dog living in a trash pile gets rescued, and then does something amazing!

~~Please share~~


~~Published on Dec 12, 2013~~

Please make a small donation to Hope For Paws and help us start 2014 strong with many more rescues. A $5 donation from many people would make all the difference to so many animals:



We ALL are connected through NATURE!!


We ALL are ONE!! 

To start the day ….. a bit late!!

~~March 22, 1014~~

“Many of us are learning how to speak up and speak clearly about what we need and what’s important to us. When we do, we are often surprised to discover that people actually do hear us and respond appropriately. And if they don’t, at least we’ve done our best to communicate and we can feel better about doing what’s right for our own emotional well-being. And even more important, we can be certain the Universe heard every single word.”


Today has been a confirmation about this for me. Talking is the key. Communication and exchange of ideas is vital.

Hoping to get it right again. 


The light is coming through. The darkness is dissipating. The way is still rocky. Lot of work still left to do. At least it has started and that is good.


~~Forest Meditation ~ Relax Music~~


We ALL are connected through NATURE!! 


~~Published on Sep 15, 2012~~


Music and video belong to their respective owners and is not owned by me.


We ALL are ONE!! 

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