Prevent Laxmi from going back to her previous owners

Laxmi was rescued in July of 2013 from a life of cruelty and neglect. She was sent to live at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center where she has made signficant improvements with her rehabiliation and her health. Now her owners are trying to get her back. This needs to be prevented. Please request that the Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra takes action against the previous owners and ensures that Laxmi stays where she is and is not sent back to live a life in chains with her previous owner.

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Letter to:

Honorable Chief Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra Shri Prithviraj Chavan

Honorable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan

In July 2013, Wildlife SOS rescued an elephant named ‘Laxmi’ from Mumbai. At the time of the rescue, Laxmi was morbidly obese and suffered many medical problems because of her weight and mistreatment by her owners. On the basis of this evidence, the Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh very correctly cancelled her ownership certificate. Laxmi was then shifted to the Elephant Care and Conservation Center (ECCC) run by Wildlife SOS in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

While Laxmi has been at the Elephant Care Center, she has made significant progress in her health. This is the result of a team of Wildlife SOS veterinary doctors who have been ensuring she has a healthy diet, an exercise regimen, foot care, aqua-therapy and the ability to interact naturally with other elephants. Although she has made improvements, Laxmi’s medical conditions will never heal completely because of the gross negligence of her previous owners and caretaker. This means, she will always suffer with chronic arthritis and debilitating foot problems. All of this would have been preventable had she been given proper care by her previous owners.

Now there is a threat to send her back to her previous owners who have a record of cruelty to elephants. They have already caused the death of Bijlee through similar neglect. In the name of justice for Laxmi, this request by her previous abusers and owners should not be granted.

The world is watching and trusting that you will protect the interests of Laxmi and ensure she stays at the Elephant Care Center where she can live a peaceful life. We cannot make up for what was taken from her in her early years but we can allow her to live out the rest of her life with some dignity, respect, joy and comfort.

As the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the state where she was rescued, we request you to please direct the Forest Department to initiate criminal action against the owners of Laxmi Elephant for this gross neglect and violation of laws and also take necessary action to ensure the elephant’s protection from her abusers / previous owners.