Elephants in captivity

By: Fragile Prints

May 13 2012

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: India, Kerala


Focal Length:55mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D3100

God loved the birds and invented trees.  Man loved the birds and invented cages.  ~Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien

In Kerala there are around 750 elephants in captivity. To boast the tagline of “God’s own country”, Kerala, rich in temples, culture, arts, crafts and  festivals can be pretty cruel to Elephants.

The just concluded season of festivals (known as Pooram, Vela, Ratholsavam) in Northern and Central Kerala which began during January and which lasts till early May has witnessed a more than usual hot and dry season. This doesn’t stop the organisers of this festivals from making the lives of captive elephants any more comfortable.

The elephants are adorned with rich ornaments, is made to walk long distances on asphalt during middle of the day under the sun. These elephants also acts as carriage for 3 or 4 men. Soon, they will be made to witness thumping noises of intoxicated men, loud percussion and soon (vedikettu) crackers which will make 4th of July feel like a weekend party.

There are laws and regulations protecting animals, but to nobody’s notice. The cruel treatment paves way for elephants reaching musth (madness) which results them raging violent beings often resulting in property and human loss.  This season also was witness to many such bouts and these violent acts are available as videos on popular services like YouTube showing murder by these creatures only reacting to continual torture. The continual madness bouts of elephants haven’t made any change in the authorities stand fearing backlash from the community.


P.S: Elephants are intelligent beings having a brain mass to body mass ratio higher than Human beings.

4 comments on “Elephants in captivity”

  1. Visually, your photo is stunning, but the content is heart wrenching. It seems impossible for an animal so big to be controlled by an animal so small and selfish yet here is the proof

  2. Hi,
    I am impressed with the size of that elephant’s foot. Awesome. But, like Sophie, I feel sad when I see those chains.

  3. […] posted a link of “Elephants in captivity”, and many readers expressed pain and shock in witnessing […]

  4. […] posted a link of “Elephants in captivity”, and many readers expressed pain and shock in witnessing […]

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