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Abused Elephant, Raju, Sheds Tears During Rescue

Abused Elephant, Raju, Sheds Tears During Rescue

Raju, a 50-year old Indian elephant was finally rescued last week after a lifetime of abuse. During the rescue, when it became clear that the group of 32 people, which included ten veterinarians, were there to rescue him, big crocodile tears rolled down his leathery cheeks.

“The team was astounded to see the tears,” said Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife SOS, the wildlife rescue group that coordinated the effort.  ”It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed. Elephants are majestic and highly intelligent animals. We can only imagine what torture the past half a century has been for him.”

Indeed, poor Raju who had been likely captured as a baby, was sold many times during his 50 years. His most recent owner cruelly chained him 24-hours a day with spiked chains, forced him to work and beat him when he did not.

During the rescue his sadistic owner tried to abort the rescue by layering tight chains and spikes on the elephant and then yelling commands to confuse Raju. Fortunately, Raju listened to his rescuers instead and soon was free.

Following his emancipation, he was taken to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, India. His underweight body was covered in abscesses and wounds, but he is expected to make a full recovery. Wildlife SOS is facilitating his medical care and helping to introduce him to other elephants at the center. On July 4th he took his first free steps in 50 years.

The average lifespan for elephants is 60 to 70 years, so hopefully Raju can enjoy his retirement and freedom for years to come.

To see more photos of the rescue visit Wildlife SOS.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

145 comments

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11:28PM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

Now that nasty owner is trying to get Raju back! He has filed papers with the courts.

9:26PM PDT on Aug 7, 2014

Elephants should have rights as non human beings!

3:19AM PDT on Jul 23, 2014

Poor raju

10:02PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

So sorry Rau u couldn't be saved sooner, but praise God u are safe and free now.

3:10AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Thank you for rescuing Raju!

1:22AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

I'm so happy Raju is free now!thanks!

4:57PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

«Wer in seinen moralischen Wertvorstellungen Tiere als niedere Lebewesen verankert hat, sie isst, quält, sexuell missbraucht und vergewaltigt oder tötet, sollte im Rechtssystem als bedenkliche Persönlichkeit eingestuft und auch entsprechend behandelt werden»

«Chi ha sancito nei suoi propri valori morali gli animali come esseri viventi inferiori, mangiandoli, torturandoli, abusandogli sessualmente e uccidendoli, dovrebbe essere classificato nel sistema giuridico come personalità dubbiosa e trattato come tale»

«Who has anchored in its moral values animals as lower living beings, she eats, tortures, sexually abused, raped and killed, should be classified as questionable personality in the legal system and treated as such»

«Qui a inscrit dans ses valeurs morales les animaux comme êtres vivants inférieurs, il les mange, les tortures, il abusés sexuellement et violées ou il les tuées, doivent être classés comme personnalité douteuse dans le système juridique et traités comme tels»

3:11PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

No words for this, just deep deep saddness. I'm so happy he will get a taste of a good life and I hope he will be around for many more years to enjoy it.

3:34AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

This is horrific. These animals are intelligent beings and to do this to this animal for years upon years breaks my heart. Shame on all you money whores!!!

3:44PM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Serious custodial sentencing must be given to abusers and poachers of animals! A reckoning must be made. Heartfelt wishes to Raju for a speedy recovery and a very happy life in a place where his majesty and intelligence will be appreciated and honored.

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