Seeing an animal being tortured is one of the worst things ever. But seeing them with spiked shackles and living on hand-outs makes everything worse. And sadly, that’s exactly what this poor giant was going through.
This aged elephant was found covered in blood from his spiked shackles, and was way too skinny for an elephant. He was living on handouts from passerby’s and would end up eating plastic and paper. He was miserable.
Raju, the poor elephant that has lived in captivity for 50 years, and sold nearly 27 times, was about to give up on life. After being captured as a baby, he didn’t know any different. But what he did know was that this was not how he wanted to live his life.
Every day, Raju was forced to beg for coins and food from tourists. It was the same old, humiliating and torturous routine. Would his life ever change?
Well luckily. North London-based charity Wildlife SOS heard about the poor gentle giant in distress, and decided it was time to step up and save him.
A team of 10 strong vets and wildlife experts, along with 20 forestry department officers and 6 policemen conducted the rescue overnight, so few people would interfere and get in the way.
But as they went to free the poor baby, they noticed something. Raju was crying tears of joy. He knew he was finally going to be freed, and was so happy.
“The team was astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.”
But there was still one problem, Raju’s owner was trying to prevent him from leaving.
“He began to shout commands to terrify Raju — and try to provoke him. It created an incredibly dangerous situation as a bull elephant could snap a human like a tooth pick if he becomes afraid or angry. When that failed he then put a series of chains around his legs in an attempt to prevent us removing him, so viciously tight that they were cutting into his legs.”
But the refused to back down. They knew they had to free this poor elephant, no matter what. And that was when Wildlife SOS vet Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar began cutting the shackles from his legs.
And once they arrived at the sanctuary, one minute past midnight, the other elephants awoke from their sleep and took a look, and welcomed him with open arms…I mean open trunks!
But for Raju, he was just happy to finally be freed. It seemed like nothing could stand in his way anymore.
“It will be a long rehabilitation process, but we will teach him that humans don’t mean pain and brutality, but it’s going to take time,” said Mr. Satyanarayan.
And for now, Raju will be able to spend the rest of his life free to do as he pleases in a safe compound living area.
We are so thankful that Raju has finally been freed, and can live a life without fear. He definitely deserves all the love in the world!
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