There’s a new petition going around, asking for our help to free Shankar, a lonely elephant, in Delhi Zoo. Nikita Dhawan and Nandika Karunakaram started a petition that has angered young animal activists all over the world. According to Nikita and Nandika, the 26 year old African elephant is living in poor and isolating conditions.
Shankar, the African elephant, was a gift to India by Zimbabwe. The elephant was named after the president of India at that time, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma. Bombai, another African elephant, was raised with Shankar. In 2005 Bombai died, leaving Shankar all alone without a companion.
In September of last year, Nikita Dhawan went to visit the Delhi zoo. After noticing how sad Shankar looked, she knew she had to do something. According to her, Shankar is chained for 17 hours a day and is confined in a small, concrete space. When he is free to roam around, he has no interaction with other elephants. While there are two Asian elephants in the same zoo, the three have never interacted.
The young 16 year old animal activist addressed a number of Indian personals, asking for their help to free Shankar. She is hoping that the petition will get their attention in helping the elephant find a new home. The Delhi Zoo director said that they are looking for a new companion for the elephant. Dr Sonali Ghosh said that if they are unable to find a new companion for the elephant, she would like an African park to take him back.
What Can We Do?
In Indian Hindu culture, elephants are a sacred animal. While they might be sacred, they are not living a free and nurturing life they deserve. Elephants are also social creatures who form deep bonds with other elephants. Would you be happy if you were taken from your home at 26 months old? How would you feel if the only friend you knew dies and you’re alone since 2005?
If you are as angry as Nikita and Dhawan, you need to sign the petition! Therefore, let’s all do our part and help free Shankar from Delhi Zoo!