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 called Malti (“ride no 44”), who has since been rescued and is now being rehabilitated at Vantara elephant care centre, 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, who had tried to escape the misery of carrying tourists uphill in extreme heat. 

elephant rides in jaipur amer fort

Another elephant named Gouri (“ride no 86”), who severely injured a male shopkeeper in Amer in October 2022, went on to attack a female Russian tourist on 13 February 2024 in the main courtyard of Amer Fort. For 16 months, PETA India has been appealing to Rajasthan’s Archaeology and Museums Department to stop using Gouri for rides and to send her to a sanctuary, where she could begin to recover from the mental trauma of a lifetime of enslavement.

amer fort elephant rides

Elephants used for rides are controlled through pain and fear and chained when not in use, so the frustration of being treated this badly can and does cause some of these sensitive animals to run amok or lash out. When elephants attack humans, beatings and other punishments typically follow, which only make the animals more frustrated and upset.

The nightmare of captivity never ends for elephants used for rides: mahouts routinely control them using wooden sticks with nail points fixed to one end, chains, and ankuses (in violation of the directives of the Rajasthan High Court) and even pierce their sensitive ears and drill holes in 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 positive for tuberculosis or who are visually impaired or injured have been forced to carry people under the blazing sun.

A committee constituted by the Project Elephant division of the Ministry of Environment, Forest 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 company Desmania Design – has submitted the design for a modern electric vehicle, which resembles a royal chariot, to the chief secretary of Rajasthan and appealed the chief minister of Rajasthan to help elephants by ending their use for tourist rides. Environment- and animal-friendly vehicles would be a suitable alternative to ferry tourists safely on the hilly terrain of Amer Fort.  

You can help elephants by signing the appeal below.

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


Dear Chief Minister:

India is renowned around the world for its reverence for animals, so it pains me to know that elephants are suffering for rides near Jaipur. Repeated incidents at and around Amer Fort in which captive elephants used for rides, like Gouri (“ride no 86”), are attacking humans or other animals 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, Forest 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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