Raju, the elephant, was caged, abused, and shackled for over 50 years. In India, he was forced to give tourists rides. The UK-based organization called Wildlife SOS saved Raju in 2014, and his reaction was priceless.
Raju was forced to live in some of the most horrendous conditions. He was malnourished and had scars all over his body. His legs were bound with spiked chains making it painful to walk, and Raju has chronic wounds on his legs.
Pooja Binepal, an aid worker, said Raju was shocked to see tears run down the big elephant’s face during his rescue. The team that rescued Raju consisted of 10 veterinarians, two policemen, and 20 Forestry Commission Officers.
They brought Raju fruit and spoke softly to him as the chains were removed from his legs. Raju’s tears motivated everyone to work quickly to get him to safety.
The team knew Raju understood he was being rescued and it was a very emotional moment for everyone. Elephants are highly intelligent and there is no way to know how being mistreated for so long affected this magnificent creature.
Raju’s rescuers believe that he was kidnapped from his mother when he was very young. He spent his life being passed around from one cruel owner to another, and now he is finally free!
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