India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli was on Wednesday named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India's 'Person of the Year for 2019' for his animal advocacy efforts.
A vegetarian, Kohli's efforts to improve conditions for animals include sending a letter on PETA India's behalf to officials calling for the release of Malti, an elephant used for rides at Amer Fort, who was reportedly violently beaten by eight men, a PETA India statement said.
The 31-year-old also reportedly visited an animal shelter in Bengaluru to check on injured and formerly neglected dogs there, sending a message to his fans to adopt animals rather than buy them.
"Virat Kohli is a fierce animal rights proponent who never hesitates to run out cruelty to animals any way he can. PETA India encourages everyone to follow his lead and always be an advocate for animals in need." PETA India Director of Celebrity and Public Relations, Sachin Bangera said.
Past recipients of PETA India's Person of the Year award include Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, former Supreme Court Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, and actors Anushka Sharma, Hema Malini, R Madhavan, and Jacqueline Fernandez.