New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) About a dozen Bollywood celebrities like John Abraham and Dilip Kumar has joined hands with People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to petition chief ministers for safety of elephants in urban areas.
'Celebrities like Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, John Abraham, Raveena Tandon, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Isha Koppikar, Mahesh Bhatt, Rahul Khanna, Celina Jaitley, Gulshan Grover and parliamentarian Priya Dutt have signed PETA's petition urging chief ministers across the country to ban the entry of elephants into urban areas,' the animal rights body said in a statement Thursday.
The move has come on the first anniversary of the death of elephant Lakshmi, who was killed by a truck. Maharashtra government has already banned the entry of elephants into Mumbai.
PETA along with the actors urged the state governments to ban the entry of elephants into cities so that the man-animal conflict could be reduced substantially.
'We hope other governments will emulate the progressive step taken by the Maharashtra government - the petition should serve as a wake-up call', says PETA chief functionary Anuradha Sawhney.
PETA said this move by the celebrities is a 'statement of compassion for elephants who live in cities where they are forced to walk on scorching-hot, pothole-ridden roads in busy traffic, amid a cacophony of horns and engines'.
The animal rights body further claimed that when these animals were not working they were chained in bad conditions, which was against their welfare.
'They commonly suffer from deadly foot ailments, skin problems, eye infections and cataracts. Allowing elephants in crowded urban areas also poses danger to the public,' PETA said.