This is the moment a temple elephant held in captivity lashed out by kicking a man to the ground as it was paraded through an Indian village.
The magnificent animal is one of dozens forced to wear decorative head gear and go on display in the country’s state of Kerala as part of religious ceremonies.
The elephant – named Saraswati – was being paraded along with other temple elephants when she suddenly kicked the middle-aged man.
It was so strong that the man was sent flying to the side of the road as stunned onlookers who were also watching the spectacle ran for cover.
The elephants are considered to be the embodiment of Lord Ganesha on earth – but animal rights campaigners have repeatedly shone a light on horrific abuses at temples in the region.
Wildlife activists say many of them are tortured, blinded and starved by their handlers – with male elephants injected with drugs in a bid to chemically castrate them.
Campaigner Rajeev N Kurup said: ‘When will we realise that these animals are not meant to be in the cities.
‘Look at the proximity and the scope of danger in the way these elephants are exhibited within the limited space of the four walls of the temple.
‘The public of Kerala has absolutely no respect or understanding while dealing with dangerous and sensitive animals like elephants.
‘Then they act surprised or offended when the animals react.