This is the shocking moment an angry mob refused
to let an animal welfare charity rescue a injured performing elephant who had been abused.
Indian elephant Mohan is kept shackled with heavy chains around his legs and is often
left malnourished and injured, with his owners forcing him to beg on the streets.
It prompted charity Wildlife SOS to launch a rescue operation to save Mohan and give
him much needed treatment. But when the 55-strong team descended on the
town of Lalganj in northern India to give treatment to the animal, a mob of 300 people
surrounded them to stall the operation. Wildlife SOS were then forced to call the
police as the mob became violent with over 40 officers drafted in to try to calm the
situation. But with fears for the safety of the rescue
team, a local magistrate ordered the operation to be aborted and the charity had to leave
the elephant behind. Now the elephant’s owner, Bhupendar Mishra
has been accused of sending the crowd to stop the seizure of the animal. Deputy Conservator of Forests Y.P. Shukla
said: ‘Mr Bhupendar Mishra has illegal custody of the elephant and is trying to manipulate
and mislead the crowd. He is being supported by his two brothers.’
‘He is trying to stall the rescue of the elephant by filing revisions and misleading the courts
although he has already lost the court battle.’ Mohan, who is aged 56, was stole from his
wild herd more than 50 years ago and has been used as a begging and performing elephant
ever since. After he was bought, he was chained for several
years to be trained before being exploited in several Indian towns, where he has been
subjected to abuse and forced to work long hours.
Co-ordinator of Wildlife SOS Baiji Raj said: ‘We will leave no stone unturned to rescue
Mohan and are hopeful that we can successfully rescue him.
The charity has now set up an appeal on their website to help fund the elephant’s rescue.