This is the moment an angry mob stopped animal welfare charity workers from rescuing an abused performing elephant who had been kept in heavy chains for decades.
Kept shackled with chains around his legs, Mohan the Indian elephant is routinely left malnourished and injured, with his owners forcing him to beg on the streets.
Mohan’s plight prompted charity Wildlife SOS to initiate a rescue operation and give him much needed treatment. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. A mob of 300 people surround Mohan as animal welfare charity Wildlife SOS attempt to rescue the abused elephant.
2. The charity were forced to call in the police to help out with the operation, which was eventually aborted on safety grounds.
However, when the 55-member rescue team arrived at the town of Lalganj, in northern India, to help the mistreated pachyderm, they were surrounded by a mob of 300 people.
As the mob became violent, the rescuers were forced to call the police and 40 officers arrived to try and calm the situation.
Fearing for the safety of the rescuers, a magistrate ordered the operation to be aborted and Wildlife SOS had to leave Mohan behind.
Now the elephant’s owner, Bhupendar Mishra, has been accused of sending the mob to prevent the seizure of the animal.
3. Mohan is kept shackled by his owners and is often forced to beg and perform for food and money.
4. The elephant is also kept with heavy chains around his legs, and according to the charity is often malnourished and injured.
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.
The elephant, aged 56, was stolen as a youngster from his wild herd more than 50 years ago and has been used for begging and performances ever since.
5. Mohan is paraded through the streets at night with leaves and branches tied to his back and is forced to beg.
6. Mohan was stolen from his wild herd more than 50 years ago and has been exploited in several different Indian towns.
After he was purchased, Mohan was chained for several years to be trained and was then exploited in several Indian towns, while being abused and forced to work long hours.
Wildlife SOS co-ordinator Baiji Raj said:
We will leave no stone unturned to rescue Mohan and are hopeful that we can successfully rescue him.
The charity has launched an appeal on their website to raise funds for the pachyderm’s rescue.
7. Raju the elephant was freed after 50 years of being held in spiked shackles and beaten (related — story here).
8. Raju was left bleeding from his shackles and living on hand-outs from tourists after he was captured 50 years ago and enslaved by his “owner” (related — story here).
Source: Wildlife SOS.
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