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  1. #1

    Young elephant to be sent from forest in India to cold zoo

    Veda, a young six-year-old elephant has always lived in a park forest in
    southern India. She roams the forest with her herd, including her mother and grandmother. However, she has been promised as a “gift” to a freezing cold zoo in Armenia where she’ll live in a small enclosure, probably on a concrete floor. This would be a tragic outcome for her.

    Suparna Ganguly is the founder and vice-president of CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) in Bangalore, India. She knows Veda and
    has asked us to help with letters.

    The sample letter below is somewhat long and contains formal phrases that we might not usually write to someone in this country, but
    that are customary in India. You may send this letter as is, or write one in
    your own words.

    Contact Information,
    E-mail addresses: (President of India) (Prime Minister of India) (Secretary of Environment and Forests)

    Sample letter:

    (Please send a separate e-mail to each of the above addresses.
    For the Prime Minister, the greeting is:
    Dear Honorable Prime Minister
    For the Secretary of Environment and Forests,
    Dear Dr. Pradipto Ghosh )

    Dear Honorable President,

    We are writing to you concerning Veda, the elephant. We would like to thank the
    government of India for postponing sending Veda to
    Armenia, and we would like to ask that you consider canceling altogether the
    plan to send Veda to the Yerevan Zoo in Armenia.

    We know that the plan to send Veda as a gift was motivated only by a spirit of
    generosity, and that there was no intention at all to
    cause harm to an animal. However, we respectfully ask you to consider sending
    another gift instead—one that is not an animal.

    In most American and European Zoos, the elephants suffer from severe, painful
    leg and foot problems and suffer psychologically and
    physically from the cold and from not being able to live a natural life in a
    herd. A number of elephants have died in cold zoos,
    including one just last week in the Chicago zoo.

    The temperature in Armenia is very cold; there are no appropriate facilities at
    all for elephants at the Yerevan Zoo. Where she is
    now, Veda is free to roam the forests with other females of her herd; she relies
    on their companionship. Placing her in very
    cramped confinement, either alone or with one other elephant in a zoo would
    cause her to suffer.

    We also believe that giving Veda the elephant as a gift is illegal, according to
    the laws of India. The proposed transfer of Veda,
    a Schedule 1 wild animal to Yerevan Zoo in Armenia is in violation of The
    Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; The Wildlife
    Protection Act, 1972; The Indian Constitution; and the State Government Policy.

    India is known for its kindness and humane treatment of animals, both by its
    laws and in practice. We trust that India will
    continue to be a world leader in terms of setting an example to follow in the
    kind treatment of animals.

    Thank you very much for your time. We appeal to you to consider allowing Veda
    to remain for the rest of her life where she is now
    living happily and is being well cared for, at the Bannerghatta Biological Park
    in Karnataka.

    Thanking you, yours faithfully,
    (Your name)

  2. #2
    Poor Veda :( I'm off to email a letter now.

  3. #3
    Thanks Anne, I sent the emails too.
    I will try to get a follow-up for this story.

  4. #4
    Several weeks ago many of you responded tremendously to a call for help for Veda, an elephant in India who was promised as a gift to a zoo in Armenia. This would mean that Veda, a young female, would be taken from a happy situation in India where she lives with her elephant family and would be sent to a cold zoo in Armenia, where her life could be at risk from the conditions there.

    Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) ( <>) an organization in India has been fighting for many months to help Veda; they were recently joined in this effort by Born Free ( <>)

    Your efforts, and all these efforts, have led to a promise from the Indian government that they will no long send live animals as diplomatic gifts! This is a wonderful victory, and it means that no future Indian animals will be taken from their homes to become gifts to other countries!

    However, Veda was already promised as a gift, and the plan is still to send her to the zoo in Armenia within the next few days!

    Many thanks for helping Veda!

    More Information: <> go to “news and top stories”, columns and diaries, Sharon St. Joan, “Helping the Elephants” <>

    Contact Information:

    (You may write your own letter or use the sample letter below. If you use the sample letter, please modify the wording slightly so that your e-mail is not returned to you as a duplicate.)

    (We’d like to thank Born Free for the contact information and for the relevant salutation and closing.)

    Dr Manmohan Singh,
    The Prime Minister of India,
    Prime Minster's Office,
    South Block,
    Raisina Hill,
    New Delhi,
    India-110 011
    You can email Dr Singh by accessing this web page <>

    Sample Letter:

    Dear Prime Minister,

    I would like to thank you very much and congratulate you on your very kind decision not to send live animals in the future as gifts to other countries.

    I would also like to ask urgently that you not send Veda the elephant to Armenia. I know that you may wish to honor the promise that was made by your predecessor to give Veda to Armenia. However, there is an even more important principle, which is not to sacrifice the well-being of an animal.

    It is widely recognized that elephants in typical zoos, such as the Yerevan Zoo in Armenia, suffer significantly and live only half their normal life span. They develop chronic, painful leg and foot diseases, suffer from on-going depression, and often die from the cold, cramped conditions. Many elephants have died from the cold conditions in American and European Zoos.

    For more information on this topic, I would recommend to you the web sites <> or <>

    Veda has always lived in the Bannerghatta Zoo in southern India in a herd with her mother, her grandmother and a sibling. Every day they bathe in the river, the climate is warm; they spend the evening walking in the forest. This is a normal, happy life for a female elephant, who remains with her family for her entire life.

    I would respectfully suggest that you talk with the President of Armenia about what other gift your country might send to Armenia. It would be very sad for the children of Armenia if Veda were to die after she arrived there.

    Thank you very much for your kindness in considering the well being of this animal.

    Yours respectfully and sincerely,
    (Your name)



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