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07/09/2014

Elephant Raju is saved after 50 years of abuse, cries during rescue  »

imageThis is Raju! See how happy he looks? Well happiness is a brand new feeling for Raju as he was only recently rescued from years of abuse. Get the tissues! No, really, I might be crying a bit.

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Raju had been working as a begging elephant in Allahabad. People would give the mahout tips in exchange for ‘blessings’ by Raju. Most of the food he got was inappropriate for an elephant. However, half starving, Raju would eat almost anything.

His mahout would beat him to make him keep begging and he was made to wear spiked chains that dug into his skin. 

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But after 50 years, Raju has finally been rescued, thanks to Wildlife SOS, India. Raju’s “owner” didn’t want to give him up:

His mahout and previous owner were non-cooperative and made things very difficult to rescue Raju. They put more chains on him and pulled the spikes tighter and then had people blocking the roads leading to the rescue truck. 

Awful!!! Makes me so mad! But Wildlife SOS did not give up! But after dealing with those terrible people, Raju himself was a challenge. It took a while to gain enough trust with Raju to get him on the truck to safety, but after coaxing with fruit, they say Raju realized he was finally in good hands, and he began to cry.

imageFrom Wildlife SOS:

Have you ever seen a grown elephant cry? This photo is a reminder to all that elephants have strong emotional lives and they have the ability to suffer deeply. This photo was taken of Raju when the rescue mission first began. He had a flood of tears from his eyes when our team first moved in to secure his freedom Some would question that Raju was truly weeping. However, our team that witnessed this moment know differently. This photo is shared at this moment not with the intention of depressing everybody, but with the hope that we can use it as an educational tool to enlighten others that elephants around the world need our help.

Here’s Raju now! This is him munching on a jackfruit at the sanctuary. He looks so pleased!!!!

imageAnd Wildlife SOS bought a literal truckload of jackfruit for him!

imageThese are the elephants he will now live with:

imageHe’ll finally have elephant companions!

If you want to help Raju, they have a donation page just for him. You can also donate directly to Wildlife SOS India to support their work to save other abused elephants. Help if you can!

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