Help End Cruel Elephant Rides at Amer Fort

After a group of tourists visiting Amer Fort near Jaipur witnessed and documented a group of men attacking an elephant who was trying to escape the misery of carrying tourists uphill in extreme heat, one woman filed a cruelty complaint with PETA India. The tourists watched in horror as eight men, including the mahout, beat the suffering elephant with sticks for up to 10 minutes after recapturing the animal.

elephant rides in jaipur amer fort

The nightmare of captivity never ends for elephants used for rides: mahouts routinely control them with wooden sticks, chains, and ankuses (in violation of the directives of the Rajasthan High Court) and even pierce their sensitive ears and drill holes into their tusks to pull them around. In nature, elephants can walk vast distances foraging for food, but captive elephants near Jaipur are tied or constantly chained when not in use and forced to stand on concrete floors, which causes painful foot problems. Even elephants who tested reactive for tuberculosis or who are visually impaired or injured are forced to carry people under the blazing sun.

amer fort elephant rides

A committee constituted by the Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has recommended that elephant rides at Amer Fort be “phase[d] out”. Tearing elephants away from their families, beating them into submission, and forcing them to give rides to tourists is cruel.

PETA India – in collaboration with leading industrial product design agency Desmania Design – has submitted the plans for a modern electric vehicle, which resembles a royal chariot, to the chief secretary of Rajasthan. This environmentally and animal-friendly vehicle would be suitable to ferry tourists safely on the hilly terrain of Amer Fort.

It’s time to give India’s heritage animal, elephants, the same protections from cruel rides as that afforded to other wild animals.

The compiled signatures will be delivered to the chief minister of Rajasthan.


Dear Chief Minister:

India is renowned around the world for our reverence for animals, so it pains me to know that elephants are being viciously abused for rides near Jaipur. An incident at Amer Fort in which a captive elephant used for rides was beaten – a video of which has gone viral on social media – should serve as a wake-up call to end this reckless and inhumane activity.

A committee constituted by the Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has recommended that elephant rides at Amer Fort be “phase[d] out” due to the animals’ advanced age and the decline in the number of tourists using elephants. It suggests replacing elephants with modern, eco-friendly modes of transportation such as electric or battery-operated vehicles.

The world is wising up to cruelty to animals disguised as tourist activities. Tripadvisor – the largest travel website in the world – announced that it would no longer sell tickets to animal “attractions”, including elephant rides, that put wild and endangered animals, as well as travellers, in danger. More than 100 travel agencies have pledged not to include elephant rides and shows in their itineraries.

Without your kind intervention, this cruelty will persist and continue to tarnish India’s image. I request that you use your authority to safeguard elephants, our nation’s heritage animal, by immediately ending all elephant rides at Amer Fort and retiring the captive elephants to reputable sanctuaries, where they can live out the rest of their lives free from chains.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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