This is a tale of two young elephants, Peanut and Suman. Peanut is the most rambunctious yet beloved elephant at the Wildlife SOS rescue center; no matter how much trouble she stirs up, Peanut gets nothing but love, dedicated care, and attention in return — from the staff and other elephants. Despite being held captive by an abusive circus before we rescued her, Peanut was never completely broken. She never lost her spirit.
Her baby sister Suman — whom we called Hazel — may not be so lucky. At just five years old, Suman has already been abused in a circus, and has been sold to a notoriously cruel owner in the notoriously cruel city of Jaipur. To break her spirit and make her “fit for work,” men are beating and abusing her (calling it “training”), and she is being forced to live in a dark basement, isolated from her family, hidden away from anyone who could help.
Suman’s mother, Chanda, is also in jeopardy. She has been bred to the point of exhaustion — only to watch her babies repeatedly wrenched away and sold into horrible lives. Chanda is being forced to give tourist rides through the scorching heat in Jaipur, heavy loads weighing down her spine. Suman’s father, Bijli, was also sold into a thankless life of labor in Jaipur.
Our repeated requests for help from the authorities have gone unanswered. They would rather turn a blind eye than risk upsetting the profiteers: after all, tourism drives Jaipur, and elephants drive tourism.
But we will not give up on Suman or her family. We will not stand by and watch her little spirit break through cruelty and neglect. We will not allow her future to be five decades of abuse and neglect in Jaipur, instead of five decades of love with her family at our rescue center.
Please stand with us for Suman. Speak up, push hard, and raise your voices against this injustice. Help us reunite Suman with her sister, Peanut. Help us bring her family — a family that has already suffered so much loss — out of darkness and isolation and into a future together.