Paul McCartney: Elephant Not Rescued After All

    March 26, 2014
    Emily Greene
    Comments are off for this post.

An elephant that was believed to be rescued by ex-Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, has been found abused in a shack.

In 2012 McCartney made a trip to India. While on that trip he met Sunder, an elephant that had been abused by his handlers at Jyotiba Temple south of Mumbai. McCartney was so moved by the 14-year-old Sunder that he organized a campaign to rescue the elephant.

By the time McCartney met Sunder, the elephant had an eye injury, a hole in his ear, and multiple scars all over his body. Sunder had spent six years in the city of Kolhapur at the temple after being donated by a local politician.

After working and making agreements with the Maharashtra State’s forest department and an Indian government organization called Project Elephant, McCartney believed Sunder would be moved to a sanctuary, but a recent investigation found Sunder living in a shack.

Not only did an animal rights group investigation find Sunder living in a chicken shack being shackled in chains that were so heavy he couldn’t lay down to sleep, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) captured video of the elephant being beaten by his handlers and looking malnourished. You can see for yourself in the video below.

PETA director of veterinary affairs, Dr. Manilal Valliyate said Sunder had been seen “writhing in pain and struggling to stand as the mahout (handler) strikes him repeatedly. Sunder visibly recoils in fear from the weapon-wielding mahout, who continues to threaten him with violence after he has stood.”

The investigation performed by PETA found that the shack Sunder has been confined to is open on three sides, allowing the harsh heat of the sun during the day and the cold wind and weather at night to abuse the elephant. They also found that there is no bedding for Sunder in the shack.

Image via YouTube.

  • Katie

    This is so-o-o horrible! That poor elephant MUST be rescued at once! What can be done to make this happen?!!

    • guest11

      Please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now for a list of action items and petitions you can participate in. Thank you!

  • anne

    So is the elephant rescued right now from the deplorable conditions it’s living in???? Nothing was said about what’s being done??? Update please?????? You can show this awful abuse
    , now I want to see the positive that came from it!!!

    • sunder 11

      Yes…Please print the positive,not negative
      Hooray for Paul!

      • Kim

        If the negative is not printed, people won’t care enough to be moved to action. They must know the truth.

    • guest

      It is still suffering. Please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now to help out in this effort. Thank you!

    • Zoe Casati

      Anne here’s the Facebook page you can join in and take action, thank you for all your concern and help! – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

  • Bill

    So, Is somebody doing something to save this poor Elephant? I’d like to beat that A-Hole with that stick!

    • guest

      Please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now to help out in this effort. Thank you!

    • Zoe Casati

      Bill please see this Facebook page for ways you can help support Sunder’s case, thank you for your concern! – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

  • steve

    What can I do to help the poor thing and then beat his handlers!

    • guest

      Please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now to help out in this effort. Thank you for helping and for caring!

  • Marie

    If PETA took the damn pictures, why are THEY NOT HELPING!!! Think people, think. They want your $ but they stand there and watch this abuse happen…

    • Ivana

      I am asking Sir McCartney to be involved again. He knows exactly what kind of agreement he made for Sunder in 2012, he knows if any financial donation was given in this regard, so, he has all rights to request official respond from the people he made the deal with.

    • Brenda

      PETA and Mccartney must not let this horrible treatment go on!

    • Sarah

      They are helping by making what is happening public. Unfortunately, there are laws that PETA can’t break. Without PETA, the current living conditions of this animal would never have been realized. The question is what can each one of us do?

      • guest

        Please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now to help out in this effort. Thank you for caring about Sunder.

    • Luke Fitzgerald

      Marie, they couldn’t do much to help Sunder behind prison bars! It’s disgusting that the legal system over there seems to go at a snails pace especially when the life of a defenseless animal is at stake!

    • Zoe Casati

      Marie Peta is been fighting for Sunder for two years now, please visit and join this Facebook page for support and see ways you can help take action, thank you for your concern – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

  • ShadowInc

    These ignorant primates need to be beaten with a stick. Hopefully, McCartney sees this, and uses his celebrity to save this animal. Hell, maybe he can just outright purchase the elephant, and send it somewhere safe.

    • ssff

      Why hasn’t he already purchased Sunder, that’s what I want to know. He’s a billionaire, he should have purchased Sunder and sent him to a sanctuaty (preferably the sanctuary in Tennessee) as soon as he became aware of him.

      • ShadowInc

        I suspect if people like these know they can torture animals, and rich animal lovers will come to the rescue with a fat pay check, you will start seeing many animal torture schemes going down.
        That being said, perhaps McCartney could purchase the animal through an intermediary (so it is unknown who is buying it), and have it shipped to a safe zone.
        Who knows? Maybe McCartney did toss some money to these scumbags, and they just told him they sent the elephant somewhere nice. These are scum we are talking about, so it’s quite possible.

  • CFG

    I want to know what is being done about this too. What is PETA going to do?? Or Can Paul McCartney still do something now that he sees this poor elephant is still being tortured? I would like an update. I can’t believe PETA would witness and documents this without saving this poor elephant. What good is telling everyone about this if your not going to do something. PETA is supposed to be a huge animal advocate with clout and money. I want to know what PETA intends to do. If they say nothing, than they are doing nothing. If that’s the case, I’ll never donate to them again. The donations aren’t doing anything to help.

    • aquilaranch

      I would also like to know why PETA is standing around taking pictures instead of helping the elephant? What good does it do to support them if the only thing they can do is take pictures and make noise! Free the elephant and get him medical on physiological help. Help him spend some semblance of his life in an environment for his health and well being before he dies at the hands of those worthless scum. What happened Sir Paul?

      • Tuskie

        Obviously PETA’s pictures have stirred EXACTLY the kind of response that WILL help Sunder. They know what they are doing.

        Of course, I am keeping tied to this story, looking for intervention …already made a plea to Paul to personally revisit India and see Sunder to the Sanctuary – as above: simply buying Sunder from these abusers* and actually staying until he arrives at the Sanctuary would not only do the trick better than anything else, but no doubt would be even less expensive than the original ‘campaign’. The trick is in Paul having to wait around while the transfer takes place … moving an Elephant a few hundred miles is not a quick thing.

        It’s VERY doable though, with some smart thinking and quick action.

        *Mahouts differ greatly – from having extreme respect for their charges – to being as cruel as we see here. Don’t think that Sunder is the only Elephant being treated this way.

        Nevertheless, NONE has to be treated like this – and IF some of the more enlightened Mahouts joined up with McCartney in not only getting Sunder to Sanctuary, but also in making a BIG noise about humane treatment of their meal tickets … well, we could very possibly see an overall shift in India towards an overall much more respectful and ethical treatment of working Elephants across the country.

        THAT would be big news. The opportunity for such a miracle is golden right now – and has never before been so possible:

        +Social Media
        +the world watching
        +Mahouts weighing in on humane treatment…

        Let’s hope this can somehow get done.

        Better yet, forget ‘hope’!
        How can I help?

        It’s just the kind of thing that Paul and John and George and even Ringo, used to often take on, and make news doing -while doing major good in the world: Bangladesh, UNICEF (“All Across The Universe”), OneVoice etc.

        THIS could be QUICK, Easy, make a colossal impact and undoubtedly endear Maca to the world again at a level probably not seen since those 4 lads from Liverpool were all the rage.

        Far more importantly, it could simply change how Elephants are treated from here forward.

        Again, we rarely get such an opportune moment. It would be tragic to let it slip by.

    • Zoe Casati

      CFG, Peta’s video and pictures were taken undercover on December 2013 as Sunder was kept under guarded surveillance by the owner. Peta’s been legally fighting nearly 2 years for Sunder. Please take time and see this Facebook page for ways you can help support Sunder’s case and all updates, thank you for your concern! – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

  • debbieleeh56

    short story – india sucks – we use them and they use others – bad karma!

  • Marguerite Sommers

    We need answers…what is the outcome to this horrific situation? Is Mr. McCartney or PETA taking care of getting Sunder out? If PETA knows where Sunder is & has video of him being abused then go there and get him for goodness sake! Please help this poor elephant…cruel bastards should be charged as well. What happened to the plans made by Paul McCartney. We need an update please!

  • dana

    has Paul taken this in hand It’s horrible to say he do something then nothing was done please please let us know what we can do and if keep sending updates

  • Marylyn Smith

    get the elephant out now.what more are they going to do,get him out now

    • guest

      Please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now to help out in this effort. Thank you for caring about Sunder the elephant!

  • Marylyn Smith

    after watching the filem.they are son of you know what.

  • Marylyn Smith

    this is making me mader than ………………..my heart and crying at the same time.i hate them.

  • maralee hughes

    pleaaseeeeee help this fellow. no one deserves this.

  • maralee hughes

    advice to stop this is greatly appreciated. C’mon Paul you have the money and resource to end this abuse to an elegant creature

  • Port Manny

    Jesus please, and I mean Jesus son of God, please wake that poor animal up and let him take wrath upon those that abuse him/her..Because if it only realized that it could take those cowards out, then it probably would. This is the worst thing I’ve seen in quite a while and I am deeply disturbed by it.. Please, someone do something for this poor animal!!!

    • http://theveteransforweed.com Hemp Solo

      Praying is not going to help . You must get involved yourself, not rely on others

  • Ivana

    I just found out that Peta making petition to Indian officials to help Sunder finally gain his freedom. Please go to:


    • Sandra Stardust

      your link is dead, can you update? thanks

  • ChicBargainista

    I hope Macca can get back to this and have his people help this poor animal This is heartbreaking.

  • Brandi Connally

    So what will be done to rescue Sunder? There is an Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenward, Tennessee that would be perfect for Sunder to live.

  • jessica

    Help this poor elephant now…..not tomorrow….now. it makes me want to throw up. It is gut wrenching.

  • jessica

    We need updates asap. People like us that are outraged don’t do well without seeing action. It’s hard to feel this helpless when you know Paul could get it done with a phone call. Action and updates now please. Get him out of india!!!!

  • Susan

    Sir Paul needs to use his money and influence to have poor Sundar moved to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennesee…IMMMEDIATELY!!

  • ellie

    Dude what the fuckkk! How can I get involved in this animal’s release????

  • anabel1

    So awful. Someone do something – Sir Paul.

  • eddieboy62

    Sir Paul needs to use his resources to have this prick beaten within an inch of his miserable life.

  • Dan

    these handlers must not be practicing Hindus, according to the Hinduism religion,
    Animals and plants are not regarded as mere objects for wanton human use and consumption in the Hindu tradition. Rather, they are equally embodied with the existence of the Divine and are fully deserving of respect and human compassion.

  • Kevin E

    do me a favor paul and don’t rescue me!!

  • Gloria Lopez

    Paul McCartney…..Go rescue the elephant!!!!! Go get Sunder!!!!!! You started this rescue Sir, two years ago, and did not do a follow up to see how Sunder was doing. SUNDER HAS BEEN AND IS GOING THROUGH INDIAN HELL!!!!!!! Come on now, Sir Paul, if you cannot complete Sunder’s rescue, PLEASE GET SOME ONE OR ORGANIZATION THAT CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brenda

    Please sir Paul buy this elephant and take away all his pain.For two years you have watched this elephant suffer.Please purchase him if you really care about ethical treatment to animals like you claim to.I am sure Linda would be pleased.What did this poor victim do to deserve this miserable existence?
    This is truly unexceptable.

  • Brenda

    Please sir Paul BUY this poor elephant and take it to a home where he is treated well. Two years to watch this elephant suffer is horrible.The word unexceptable comes to mind.

  • Colette Mahoney

    What can we do to help this elephant right now? Does Paul McCartney know about this? He could probably help him right away, as he has the clout and the means and the way. I was so upset about this after reading the article last night. I can’t have any peace. Why doesn’t God help these poor animals who are being abused? What a terrible world. His handlers and keepers should get the same treatment. They are sadists.

    • Brenda

      I agree as this is not to be tolerated. The
      elephant can’t even lie down.What kind of sadist would torture an innocent animal like this.He should get the same treatment he gives.I am very bothered by this. Sir Paul should resolve this horible situation.

      • Renee doan

        Sunder’s handlers are very demented & beyond cruel!! Sir Paul or someone get help for Sunder!! I’d love to smash his handler with a crow bar, shackle him so he can’t lay down to rest & rot in hell!! PLS HELP REMOVE SUNDER FROM HIS TORTURE!! You can hear him cry out for God’s sake ! Someone have a HEART & HELP TAKE BEAUTIFUL, HELPLESS SUNDER OUT OF THERE ASAP!! TELL US NOW WHAT IS BEING DONE TO REMOVE SUNDER!! CAN BOB BARKER HELP??!!

      • Zoe Casati

        Brenda, please see this Facebook page for ways you can help support Sunder’s case, thank you for your concern! – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

        • Brenda

          i just signed the petition.I pray they will free sunder soon.

    • Zoe Casati

      Colette, please see this Facebook page for ways you can help support Sunder’s case, thank you for your concern! – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/


    dear god, paul, peta (that i support monthly), india, any/everyone! please rescue this dear helpless creature, this is horrible! please update. PAUL….STEP UP, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO YOUR LEGACY THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY KNOW!

  • Theresa

    ok, so what’s being done about this, how can people stand by and watch this, I’d like to take that stick and smash his face with it, I hope this elephant can get the help he needs, this cannot possibly be filmed without doing something about it. We want answers about what is being done to help this poor elephant.

  • Ivana

    The link I gave yesterday is really dead. Please try this way: Go in Yahoo, type
    http://action.petaindia.com/ea and search.
    Then look for the address: Help Sunder finally gain freedom/take action/Peta India and open. Scroll down, and you find the petition, which you can sign and send to your friends e-mail addresses to sign. I just checked, it works.

  • myth257

    apparently even sir pauls money didn’t make it to where he wanted it to go. Gotta love these trust worthy government people. Guess some pockets were lined

  • gregory

    There’s a special spot in hell for these people.

  • roy

    I pray someone has put a stop to this horrible scene.

  • sarahld30


  • Deb

    Where’s Bob Barker when we need him??? He likes to help animals and I think he’s even placed some wild animals in zoo’s. Not the best scenario but, beats the alternative!

  • Daniel

    Assemble the cavalry were going in ambush style fuck em! Ted Nugents in charge.

  • Timothy Dahlstrom

    It might seem like we’re powerless, but we’re not. These are the things I’m doing to help Sunder: 1) Pray. God grieves at the treatment Sunder is getting, and it is my belief that we actually will be heard by Him. It’s not that He needs us, but He wants us to show that we care! 2) I sent a $35 contribution to PETA. They are the real deal. They have represented Sunder’s interests in court, and I believe I can help Sunder by helping fund what PETA is doing. 3) I am posting articles and info regularly on my Facebook account. 4) I emailed a PETA petition form to all of my email contacts. Don’t think that the Indian government is insensitive to international pressure. So, I am going to keep doing all of the above, and if you know of other things I and others should be doing, share it here! Do it for Sunder. I love that poor elephant, and I cannot rest until he is freed from his torment.

  • Motivated Meow

    What the hell. SAVE SUNDER!

  • dhk12300

    Animal abuse is SICK. This is one of the sickest. Peta needs to set up a fund we can donate to and BUY Sunder. Then relocate him. And put the offenders in jail.

    In the meantime, we can start email blasts to help.

    The first link will send you to a petition which you will copy and paste and send to ALL the India embassies in the US (other countries are listed). Maybe if a diplomat can’t get his email something will be done :


    Peta also has a email blast set up :


    Fill in only your first name and email address.

    Are there any rescue groups in this country that can get involved ?

    • Timothy Dahlstrom

      Thanks! I am completely taken up by this right now. I’ve never been so horrified by such wicked, evil cruelty, and I will not be able to stop doing whatever I can do until Sunder is freed.

      • dhk12300

        Thanks Tim, agreed, it so has completely touched me too. Could you please go to Peta.org and send them a email asking them to set up a BUY Sunder Donation Fund ? They could then buy him outright and release him. I don’t think he will survive his sadist abusers and the Indian courts much longer.

        • Timothy Dahlstrom

          I will do that.

    • Zoe Casati

      Awesome job!! Please see this Facebook page for ways you can help support Sunder’s case, thank you for your concern! – https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

  • Peg

    SOMEONE needs to do something!!! ELLEN-OPRAH????

  • Mary

    I agree with Marie, PETA is always somewhere just taking pictures! They show dogs, getting skinned alive in China, Angora rabbits being skinned alive in China, PETA also has video on cows caged together and squashed in cages for their bile. A cows head was so pushed against the cage it will not be able to move. PETA said the Chinese overload cages with cow and they can be in there for up to 30yrs. Thailand rescued one area of caged cows, don’t remember the number but there shouldn’t have been any cows in any cages, the dogs they raise are poorly fed and I’m surprised they get big enough to be skinned alive for their fur, so if you have any fake fur, FAUX FUR, the fur came from screaming, painful, beaten with sticks, dogs! The same with the Angora rabbit, their fur is literally ripped off of completely alive rabbits. Now, PETA takes pictures, video and then post to the world though all media sights, or twitter, face book, etc. PETA just takes the pictures. They make money for posting these horrid things. They say non-profit but as far back as I can remember, they do very little else. Oh, I ‘m happy for them that this non-profit organization has so much money that they can travel all over the world. PETA is a scam, you wouldn’t think so because their name is attached to so many horrid things but where does the money come from to travel the globe, they video, report and I think they take in the sites of whatever country they happen to be in. I have a cousin in India, I’m contacting him on the places that Sir Paul McCartney made the deals with to move the elephant. See how reputable or not these places are. If they took money from Sir Paul McCartney and wrote legal documents, as they would have had to, they lied, stole, and obviously approve of animal abuse. I will find something out if even the tiniest thing , a baby step, if you may. I suggest everyone write a letter to the Maharashtra State Forest Park and the Indian Government Organization that’s called Project Elephant & The Government. Google, Yahoo, Google chrome, any & all search engines should have info. I’m going to the source, my cousin, and will post anything he gives me. I will be writing PETA, the India Gov at every level, any and all that are connected w/the state forest & same to Project Elephant. I will call everyone, email everyone, also the same to whoever my cousin gives me. If I can find anything on McCartney

  • stonelover

    I want to help stop the suffering of this dear creature, but I don’t know how!!! What good is signing a petition for stopping his pain NOW! What steps need to be taken to rescue this elephant and how can we make it happen? Sure I’ll give money to PETA, or to anyone else who will work toward stopping the suffering as soon as possible, but PLEASE tell us what is going on how to do something concrete to really make this stop. I’d get on a plane and hike as many miles as I had to to stop it if I could, but I know that one person showing up won’t make a bit of difference. will it take money to buy his way out, then lets start raising the money! Do we hire a helicopter to lift him out and transport him to a hospital / refuge? Then tell me how to get a helicopter in there! WHO DO I EVEN TALK TO??

  • Timothy Dahlstrom

    I just sent this email to PETA:

    “Would it be possible for PETA to buy Sunder, and bring him to safety that way? If you setup a fund for his purchase, I bet you’d get a flood of money. If you do that, I will contribute the first $1000.00.”

    Send them an email requesting they open up a BUY SUNDER fund!!! You don’t have to promise that amount of money. I’m not rich either, a $1000 would be a big bite out of my budget, but Sunder is worth it. Join me?

    Here’s the PETA contact link:


    BTW, this is strictly my idea. I have no affiliation with PETA. I just want to help Sunder.

  • ireland08

    I agree where is the help If they know this is happening why is he not being set free what about Paul McCartney he should have a say.

  • ireland08

    that man beating him I will say I hope he gets what coming to him he is a cruel coward of a man

  • John Gianakos

    just got of phone with India Consulate, they say they know nothing about it, Call back tomorrow, I will go there and get elephant, but we need a team, gotta figure out how to save this animal, I will put up 10 grand, anybody want to join?

  • skr

    please tell us what we can do the rescue this elephant, and can the abusers be held accountable?

  • J.

    I’ve started a petition on change.com for Sunder the elephant. http://www.change.org/petitions/president-of-the-united-states-be-a-voice-for-the-voiceless

  • Patrice Cole

    Why was there no follow through on this supposed rescue?

  • Luke Fitzgerald

    This is an absolute disgrace…and in a country that worships the image of an elephant! Sunder must be released immediately to the sanctuary that is waiting for him as per court orders before he dies from his ill treatment! and the people responsible for inflicting and abetting this abuse must be held accountable.

  • sick of this abuse


  • ssff

    The owners are going against HIGH COURT ORDERS to FREE SUNDER to a sanctuary in India. The Indian court officials need to arrest these people and while they are in jail, they need to move Sunder to his new home at the Sanctuary.

  • KaTrina G

    It seems that all the right steps were initiated and someone or something intervened to prevent poor Sunder’s ultimate rescue and for these subsequent YEARS he has been allowed to languish in these deplorable conditions under the control of amoral individuals. It is unconscionable that any government or other agency is allowed to thwart the efforts made on Sunder’s behalf. The people do love and care and those in authority should be moved to act promptly. I pray for Sunder and for our society.

  • guest11

    Thank you for running this article. For folks who want to help and stay engaged, please visit the facebook page: Free Sunder Now. Thank you!

  • NickiC

    Thank you so much for covering this important (and horrific) story. . There are many ways to help Sunder as well. Please visit Free Sunder Now on facebook. The courts are again stalling and we need swift action to cease the daily violence upon Sunder. Please help save this beautiful creature – his days are numbered if he remains where he is.

  • Jo Smith

    The treatment of this poor elephant brings shame on India and the Hindu religion and SHAME ON VINAY KORE. Release him NOW.

  • susan brinklow

    Born Free as free as the wind blows as free as the grass grows born free, born free. from the film born free Elsa the lioness, Free the Elephants…

  • Kevin Lenaghan

    Thank you for following up on this awful tragedy. It is absolutely disgraceful and it is happening in a TEMPLE? It is absolutely disgusting and barbaric. Please continue to follow up. It means a lot to this poor animal and to many, many people.

  • lian

    About time that media takes notice of all animal abuse . My prayer and support to Sunder and in the quickest time possible he will be freed and be taken cared of by someone who will not use and abuse him.

  • Zoe Casati

    Thank you for covering this story. Sunder needs every voice he can get!! https://www.facebook.com/events/438037036321689/

  • ireland08

    thanks for the info Zoe I will send emails

  • Carol Cummins

    Please release Sunder to a sanctuary immediately, he has suffered enough.

  • Christine Snow

    This is one of the saddest acts I’ve ever witnessed – what does this man think the elephant’s going to do him – attack him? Run off? If he attacked him, I’d say he brought it down on himself – release Sunder to a sanctuary!!!

  • kess

    Thank you for covering Sunder’s story! Please keep us updated. Sunder needs to freed immediately. The abuse is horrific. #FreeSunderNow

  • dhk12300

    Everyone who is concerned … please visit the Free Sunder Facebook Page at :


    This is the real deal. Follow the “Call to Action” which gives lists of people to email and groups with Sunder support campaigns. Under the Action Items is a “WHY, WHY, WHY” post explaining what is going on and why this case is in court and that Peta has hired the best lawyers pushing for Sunders release.

    My first thought was enough, this poor majestic beast is not going to survive long enough for a court decision. So I wrote Peta asking them to set up a fund to buy Sunder outright. The temple officials and Vinay Kore already had a response for that … they said they would just buy more elephants and put them thru a lifetime of hell Can u say corrupt sadists ? So now I know that for ALL temple elephants, this must be won in court to further laws against temple elephants.

  • DD

    Those worthless little cowards will get their due some day for what they have done to this defenseless chained animal. Amazing how their culture immortalizes elephants, but the government condones this type of abuse! Shame on them, that country, and that fake government!