Indian Temple Replaces Elephant With Robot For Worship

Indian Temple Replaces Elephant With Robot For Worship
A temple in Indian state of Kerala has chosen to replace the elephant with a robot for the Hindu rituals, it has emerged.

The robotic elephants will replace the real ones for the rituals and festivals to be held in a more 'cruelty-free' manner, Anadolu Agency reported.

It said that Parvathy Thiruvothu, an Indian actress, and an organisation with the name of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), are supporting the temple in materialising their initiative.

"This will help conduct ceremonies at the temple in a safe and cruelty-free manner and thereby support real elephants’ rehabilitation and lives in forests and end the horror of captivity for them," PETA said.

“Subjecting live elephants to the extreme loudness of the temple is cruel, as it is damaging and distressing for live elephants," it maintained.

Meanwhile, talking to local media, the temple's head priest said, "We are extremely happy and grateful to receive this mechanical elephant, which will help us to conduct our rituals and festivals in a cruelty-free manner, and we hope that other temples will also consider replacing live elephants for rituals."

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According to actress Parvathy, "In this day and age, we have the access to understanding what animals are forced to endure when humans use them for entertainment."

“It’s high time we made stronger and more impactful strides towards stopping such abuse and letting animals have respectful and dignified lives," she stressed.

The report further quoted PETA India as saying that the majority of elephants in captivity in the country, including those in the state, are held illegally or moved to other states without the due permission.

These animals are then trained and controlled via severe sorts of punishments, beatings, to force them to obey the commands during rides, ceremonies, or festivals.

Also, data compiled by an NGO suggests that captive elephants have killed over 500 people in Kerala in the past 15 years.