A volunteer organisation has sought Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s intervention for the rehabilitation of two elephants used for tourist rides at Amber Fort, near Jaipur.
Video footage shows one of the elephants, Malti, repetitively swaying and bobbing its head, which are signs of severe psychological distress in captive elephants, said Khushboo Gupta, Director of Advocacy Projects, PETA India.
”Veterinary opinion confirms the elephant is suffering psychologically. There is a need to rehabilitate the animal and shift it to an elephant care center. Malti is used for tourist rides at Amber Fort despite having a history of running amok and fighting with another elephant,” Gupta said at a press conference here.
”PETA India has sent a letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, urging him to ensure the rescue and rehabilitation of elephants Malti and Gouri. Gouri recently lashed out and attacked a shopkeeper in Amber, leading to his hospitalisation,” she added.
She said that using such elephants for rides poses a risk to the lives of tourists.
When contacted, an official of the state archaeology department said only those elephants which are found fit by the forest department are used for the ride at the Amber Fort.
”Medical examination of the elephants is done by the forest department and based on the reports, only fit elephants area used for the ride,” the official said.