NEW DELHI (AP) — A 14-year-old elephant whose abuse outside a Hindu temple inspired a protest by Paul McCartney is still living in horrific conditions, with shackles around his legs and regular beatings, an animal rights group said Friday.
The Indian government had ordered the elephant, named Sunder, returned to the wild after McCartney highlighted the animal's plight during a 2012 trip to India.
Instead, a local politician took Sunder home and shackled him outside a poultry shed, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said. The group also released a video that it says shows Sunder in December, writhing in pain and struggling to stand as a handler strikes him with a pole.
The local politician, Vinay Kore, could not be reached for comment. But Tara, one of Kore's household servants who goes by one name, confirmed Sunder stays outside the residence.
"The elephant is kept at the poultry shed and is healthy and fine," Tara said by telephone Friday.
Manilal Valliyate, PETA's director of veterinary affairs in India, said domestically kept elephants face a grim existence in India. Many Hindu temples keep elephants outside their doors to give blessings to visitors, but the animals are often poorly treated.
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