Mumbai: The walk to freedom for Sunder, a 13-year-old elephant who has been in captivity, could be delayed further. MLA Vinay Kore, who has been resisting Sunder's release, has now filed an appeal against it in the Supreme Court.
The Bombay High Court had on April 7 ordered authorities to implement a state government order, issued in August 2012, to release Sunder into the wild.
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been fighting to secure the pachyderm's release and had moved the Bombay High Court as the state government's order to release him had not been implemented.
Sunder who has been in captivity and was kept chained inside a dark shed at a Temple in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra for seven years would have been finally free from the torture.
PETA India's Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate told NDTV, "This is an attempt from MLA Vinay Kore to delay the process of implementing the High Court order. All the paperwork from moving Sunder to a sanctuary in Bangalore is almost complete. We are hoping that Sunder will be moved soon and the Supreme Court will give us a favourable order."
Meanwhile PETA also claims that during a recent examination of Sunder by an expert a massive wound was found on his leg which is a result of being constantly tied with chains. According to PETA the expert's report also recommends that Sunder be moved to a sanctuary on an emergency basis.
International celebrities like Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles, and Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame had campaigned for Sunder's release and supported PETA's movement.
Amitabh Bachchan had told NDTV, "I interacted with the NGO and the person involved with this elephant...We are still working at it...But, eventually it's the system that's going to make up their mind."
PETA had also released a video of the temple elephant Sunder being tortured and beaten by his handlers in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, where he was moved to from the temple premises.
Following the release of the video, several Bollywood celebrities came out in support of a campaign to release Sunder.