The Honourable High Court of Kerala – through its orders of 2014 and 2015 on two different matters, mandated that elephants used for rides must be registered with theAWBI under the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules (PARR), 2001. Through a 2010 circular, the Government of Rajasthan mandated that for elephants to be used in any film, serial, advertisement, ad-film, function, sport, event, exhibition, mela, or other performance, including for rides, the owner must register withthe AWBI under PARR, 2001. However, none of the elephants used for rides in Jaipur are registered with the AWBI.
The nightmare of captivity never ends for elephants in Jaipur: mahouts routinely beat and jab them with iron-tipped wooden sticks, spiked 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. In nature, elephants can walk up to 50 kilometres daily foraging for food, but captive elephants in Jaipur are constantly chained – sometimes with spiked hobbles – and forced to stand on hard, concrete floors, causing painful foot problems. Even elephants who are visually impaired or injured are forced to carry people under the blazing sun.
Tearing elephants from their families, beating the minto submission, and forcing themto give rides to tourists is cruel. In fact, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, prohibits capturing them. In nature, they are highly social creatures who live in close-knit, matriarchal herd societies. Mothers often do not wean their babies until they are almost 10 years old, but cruel captors separate elephants as young as 3 years old from their mothers.