Madhu used to live with us here at MEF, he is young elephant around 18 years old. He is owned by a temple with a notoriously greedy monk who took him from us to work in a place that gives tourist rides using the Howdahs.
We are devastated by this and are negotiating with the ownerto try to get Madhu back here. We recently went to visit him and Sanjeewa at their new work place, Sanjeewa says that the once sweet, playful and gentle Madhu is becoming angry and aggressive as he is worked hard and in pain from the howdah- he also wants to come back to MEF. Madhu looks much older than when he left us as he no longer receives extra care and daily vitamins and minerals, the howdah strap is also affecting his walk. Elephants do not stop growing until they are in their 30′s and Madhu is at a crucial stage of growth, the howdah will be causing untold damage to his body.
More information about the dangers of Howdahs can be found on our website and you can follow our campaign to raise awareness of the dangers among tourists and elephant owners on twitter.