This heartbreaking story is about Raju, an elephant from India that had a very rough life. Raju occasionally had to eat plastic and paper while being chained 24 hours a day and survived just from scraps given by passing tourists.
London-bases organisation Wildlife SOS couldn’t see this injustice and do nothing about it, and they didn’t. Determined to save Raju from a future of continuous torture, a bold rescue operation took place.
The mission happened at twilight to prevent Raju ‘owners’ from attempting to stop the rescue, to protect passersby from getting hurt, and to protect Raju from the flaming heat of the sun. In the end, Raju the elephant, understanding he was being saved, began to weep says Pooja Binepal, one of the heroic rescuers, during an interview with Presspeople:
“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 realized 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.”
One year after the rescue that moved so many across the world, Raju is now looked after by lovely volunteers at the Elephant Conservation & Care Center. He is learning to be a free elephant again and love to spend hours in the pool.
If you feel moved by this beautiful story, know that you can help. Wildlife SOS is attempting to raise £10,000 to help paid for the costs of Raju’s new life. To give, visit them here. And if you wonder how is Raju doing these days, like his page on Facebook to keep up with his improvement.