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free at last

Elephant 'cries' when freed after 50 years in captivity

Raju the elephant was rescued last week by UK charity Wildlife SOS.


rajuwalks Wildlife SOS Wildlife SOS

He recently took his first steps as a free elephant after living in captivity for 50 years, thanks to the UK charity Wildlife SOS.

The charity believe Raju was poached from the wilds at an early age and has been working as a ‘begging elephant’ in Allahabad, India for half a century – during which time he was beaten, starved and chained with spikes that made it painful for him to move.

raju30 Wildlife SOS Wildlife SOS

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The charity obtained permission from the authorities to free Raju and take him to an animal shelter to recover and rest at last.

According to the Wildlife SOS website, the rescue operation began on 2 July and was not without its difficulties – Raju’s owners were uncooperative and pulled the chains and spikes on his legs tighter to prevent the team from freeing him.

When the team finally attempted to remove his chains, the elephant appeared to cry with relief.

rajucrying Wildlife SOS Wildlife SOS

New York Daily News / YouTube

Now, the charity say, the process of healing will have to begin. He is being treated for the wounds caused by years in spiked chains, and chowing down on all types of delicious fruit.

Resting  LR Wildlife SOS Wildlife SOS

“More than anything, now is the time for Raju to rest,” the charity says on their website. “After 50 years, he deserves it.”

We’re not crying. There’s something in our eye.

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