Success! Raju the Elephant Permanently Freed from Cruelty

It’s fair to say that a lot of Care2 members have become invested in the ongoing story of Raju the elephant. First we were saddened to learn that such a wonderful creature could be held hostage for 50 years in extraordinarily deplorable conditions. Then we rejoiced when a wildlife organization freed Raju from his cruel captivity. Soon, we worried again when Raju’s previous owner captor filed a lawsuit to regain possession of the animal. At last, all of us can a sigh of relief on Raju’s behalf – the lawsuit was unsuccessful, meaning that Raju will continue to live peacefully.

Once word spread that the owner, an alleged drug dealer and addict, had filed legal documents to take back Raju, nearly 75,000 of you in the Care2 community signed two petitions in support of Raju. Fortunately, these petitions’ pleas were heard and an Indian court agreed that — without a license from the Chief Wildlife Warden — the “owner” had no legitimate claim to the elephant. While it would have been even better if the court pressed charges against the owner for cruelty, for now we’ll settle for the fact that Raju does not have to return to this life of abuse.

For those less familiar with this saga, Raju was a young elephant kidnapped from the wild decades ago. Tragically, Raju’s captors kept him in chains for the following fifty years, leaving his legs permanently injured and his psyche damaged as well. His owners exploited him to earn change from excited tourists, all the while feeding Raju trash rather than actual food.

Thankfully, those days are over. There’s no doubt that Raju’s having not just a better life, but a great life presently. He now lives in relative freedom with four other elephants, cared for by the Wildlife SOS, the organization that rescued him. Though Raju is still recovering, he is doing much better after having received over $60,000 in medical treatments to address the abscesses that formed from 50 years of being shackled. Additionally, Raju is enjoying regular, filling meals, far exceeding the literal garbage he was forced to eat in previous decades.

Now that the legal challenge has been squashed, Raju should have no further obstacles in living happily and trying to put those miserable days in chains behind him.

If he could, I’m sure Raju would thank each of you for signing the petitions to ensure he would no longer face a life of torture. Unfortunately, animal cruelty of this magnitude is not an isolated incident. If you know of a similar animal in need of help, start a petition to raise awareness and help secure that animal a better life:



W. C
W. C1 years ago


Neelima d.
Neelima d3 years ago

thank u

Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell4 years ago


Past Member 4 years ago


Valentina R.
Valentina R4 years ago

Cool news! I'm happy for him. Hopefully every other caged and abused elephant will be free soon as well.

Anne Garcia
Anne G4 years ago

I'm so happy to read of this. It restores some faith in humanity for me. I'm so glad for Raju, so very glad.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

Finally some good news today. Thanks for sharing.

Alejandra Aboytes

Wonderful news!