Raju The Elephant, Freed, Cries Tears of Joy

The Day the Elephant Cried

The rescue took place under the cover of darkness, as fewer people would be around for the dangerous rescue and the animal could be protected from the heat of the sun   This is the incredible story of Raju, an Indian Elephant held in spiked chains for FIFTY YEARS by over 25 different owners, beaten, starved, using Raju to beg.  The North London charity “WILDLIFE – SOS” was alerted by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Deptartment, then they arranged for a secret court order to rescue him, and transport him in the dark of night to a game reserve 350 miles away.  Once rescued, he was loaded into an open-top lorry, given additional sedation and escorted 350 miles to the charity's Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura  The veterinarian (below) who cut his shackles said Raja cried, Wildlife SOS vet Dr Yaduraj Khadpekar tries to free Raju from the chains which he was kept in for 50 years tears rolled down the elephant’s face when he was freed. Raju knew, the team said, they had come to help him. The long, arduous journey that followed has brought him to safety inside THE ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND CARE CENTER in Mathura.  And his life begins.  And it happened, they all noted, on America’s Independence Day, too.  Freedom. Freedom is the most essential element of life.  >>>(Full Story, UK Daily Mail)<<<

(UK Daily Mail) “Raju the elephant was left bleeding from spiked shackles and living on hand-outs from passing tourists after he was capured and tied up by his ‘owner’.

Ms Binepal said: ‘The poachers either slaughter the mother, or they drive the herd into traps that are small enough only for the babies to fall into. The mother cries for her baby for days after he’s been stolen – it is a sickening trade. The calves are then tied and beaten until they submit to their owners – their spirits are effectively broken.

‘We discovered Raju’s case was particularly tragic.

‘He’d been poached as a calf and then he has been sold on and sold on. Incredibly we believe he has had up to 27 owners – he’s been treated as a commodity every two years of his life.

‘By the time we found him in July 2013 he was in a pathetic condition. He had no shelter at night, and was being used as a prop to beg from dawn until dusk from tourists visiting the sites of India.

‘He hasn’t been fed properly and tourists started giving him sweet food items and because he was in a state of hunger and exhaustion he began eating plastic and paper. 

But, after 50 years of torture, the animal cried tears of relief after he was rescued by a wildlife charity in a daring midnight operation – fittingly on American

Over the weekend, Raju received emergency medical attention to his wounds as well as a bath and food

Independence Day.”

Safe at last.  Bless the hearts of all who saved Raju:  the 10 Veterinarians and Wildlife Workers of Uttar Pradesh Forest Department of India, the 20 Forestry Officers, 6 Policemen, the Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, and the North London Charity Team: WILDLIFE SOS.    

Bless Raju most of all.

North London-based charity Wildlife SOS stepped in to save Raju after learning of his plight in IndiaWILDLIFE SOS (London) is hoping to raise £10,000 for Raju’s continued care in the ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND CARE CENTER in Mathura, India.



4 thoughts on “Raju The Elephant, Freed, Cries Tears of Joy

    • Yes, it’s true. I cried the whole time I was putting this together. I was VERY cheered to see the good guys outnumbering the bad in this case, how compassion overrode indifference. I stopped wanting to ever go to India because of such things, the cheapness of all life. Thanks, Gunta.

    • This has a happy ending. There are apparently groups in India working with British conservationists who alerted them, and participated fully in getting Raju rescued, along with Indian courts and police. I like that part a lot. And your mood, entirely suitable. By God, yes.

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