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MACCA'S JUMBO; Beatle begs: Free Sunder from agony.

Byline: Gethin Chamberlain

MEET Sunder, the brutalised elephant angry Sir Paul McCartney says MUST be freed.

The cruelly scarred 13-year-old animal has been beaten so badly by his temple keeper he is blinded in his right eye.

Sunder spends most of his life chained up by all four legs in a windowless tinnedroof shed at the Jyotiba Temple, outside Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

One chain is spiked and looped by a rope around Sunder's left ear, biting in to his foot whenever he tries to move.

And while the temple rakes in pounds 2,000 from worshippers a day, star attraction Sunder lives on a diet of uncooked rice, which has made him seriously ill.

Last week when we visited he was in the dark of a windowless shed, rocking gently, legs shackled by heavy chains.

He had sores around his back legs where the chain had worn away skin, and scars of older wounds around his body.

Sir Paul was alerted to the abuse by animal rights group Peta, which had sent an officer into the temple to check on Sunder's condition.

The ex-Beatle broke off from Olympic opening ceremony rehearsals to write to Indian authorities expressing his outrage at Sunder's treatment.

He wrote: "Years of his life have been ruined by abusing him... enough is enough. I call on you to get Sunder placed in your protective custody and eventually integrated into a forest herd."

Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has also joined the campaign.

She said: "I am in tears over this little elephant. Like other victims of abuse, he will be scarred for life mentally, as he already is physically."

So far all appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Indian ministers, apparently reluctant to clash with the Hindu temple authorities, have failed to act.

The PETA official sent to check on Sunder watched open-mouthed in disbelief as his teenage handler repeatedly beat the animal with his hooked metal spike, known as an ankus. Sunder was rocking gently - typical behaviour by such an animal under stress, all four legs shackled by heavy chains.

Sunder shuffled his feet uncomfortably on the concrete floor, worrying with his trunk at the chains, his milky blind eye staring blankly out of the side of his sad grey face. He rarely sees daylight.

He stands among a small pile of hay dumped on the floor next to the grille which drains away his waste.

Villager Navnath Davari said: "Every day his mahout beats Sunder, chains his legs and stabs his body. It is so cruel."

To help Sunder log on to


PLEA: TV star Pam SPIKED: Chain looped to ear, above BLINDED , SCARRED Chained Sunder is unable to see from his right eye
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Aug 12, 2012
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