After being held in bondage and torment for 50 years, an elephant by the name of Raju is finally free. Emancipated by North London-based charity Wildlife SOS, Raju had spent the majority of his life in spiked chains living off of whatever food he could beg for while also trained by his owner to beg passers by for money.
“When he is ready he will initially join two companion elephants called Rajesh and Bhola, who once also suffered unthinkable cruelty.”
Raju had likely been poached from the wild when he was a baby but Wildlife SOS was able to rescue him when the owner could produce no legal documents proving ownership. Once freed though, Raju did something none of them expected.
‘The team were 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 realised he was being freed.
‘Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.
‘Until we stepped in he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles – it’s a truly pitiful case.
‘But today he knows what freedom is and he will learn what kindness feels like and what it’s like to not suffer any more.
Raju was apparently so hungry all the time that he’d taken to eating anything that was put in front of him to include paper and plastic. Today, however, he’s recovering in a place that’s safe where he’ll never been subjected to torture and starvation again.