Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, the star of ABC TV’s new show Quantico, has given voice to PETA’s walking talking robotic elephant named Ellie, which will go on a school tour across US, Europe and India.
As children have a natural empathy for animals, the American animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ new campaign aims to help educate kids about elephants and captivity through Ellie.
Thanks to Chopra’s voiceover, the 6.5-foot-tall Ellie “speaks” to students and shares her story, taking them through her painful separation from her mother as an infant, discussing the intimidation and physical punishment that she endured at the hands of her circus handlers, and finally detailing her happy life at a sanctuary after her rescue.
Ellie has already visited 3,000 elementary school students, who were captivated by the gentle giant. One student at Horace Mann Elementary in Oakland, California, asked, “Why don’t circuses just use robots instead?”
“Ellie is teaching kids that elephants belong in the wild with their families, and that they suffer greatly in captivity, in which they’re kept chained, forced to learn tricks, and deprived of all the things that make them happy, like family and freedom,” said Chopra.
“I’m pleased to join with PETA in bringing Ellie to life for children everywhere.”
Chopra described elephants as “magnificent creatures who desperately need our help and protection.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – and its supporters have been working on behalf of elephants for some time, documenting alleged abuse in circuses and other forms of captivity.