Raju the elephant had been tied down by chains and spikes for a daunting 50 years. Since he was poached as a baby, he had been beaten, starved and abused by several owners. Over time, the chains and constant abuse led to chronic wounds and severe arthritis. After 50 years of suffering, Raju’s rescue was long overdue.
Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Wildlife SOS members made a daring rescue to save the elephant from any further abuse. The current owner, an abusive drug addict, had tried to stop the rescue by adding more chains to Raju’s legs and getting his associates to block passage to the elephant. However, police and state officials soon stepped in the help the charity save the elephant.
After building Raju’s trust for several hours, the elephant began to realize what was going on. The elephant soon began to cry tears of joy.
“The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us,” said Pooja Binepal, a Wildlife SOS volunteer. “We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.”
Soon, Raju was taken to the Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura to begin his recovery. There, he was finally given proper care by a team of vets and was fed to reach a healthy weight. Raju wouldn’t have to worry about another abusive owner ever again.
Now, Raju’s personality is brighter than ever before!
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