Raju the elephant on the night of his rescue on July 2.
Since he was a baby, 50-year-old elephant named Raju was chained, abused, and resold from one cruel owner to another. Then, on July 2, India's animal rescue organization Wildlife SOS rescued Raju, freeing his legs from spiked shackles for the first time, The Mirror reports.
The rescue operation in the Uttar Pradesh region of India was not simple, as the elephant's captor initiated a standoff, trying to shout commands to Raju in order to provoke him, and tightly chaining the animal's legs.
Still, the rescue team, comprised of 10 veterinarians and wildlife experts, together with two policemen, manage to free Raju and take him to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura.
The elephant, which took his first freedom steps on July 4, was seemingly emotional about his rescue, with Wildlife SOS members even noticing tears in his eyes.
“Raju was in chains 24 hours a day, an act of intolerable cruelty. The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue." Wildlife SOS-UK's Pooja Binepal told The Mirror.
Raju, who suffered "unthinkable abuse" and was in poor shape when the rescue team found him, is now receiving medical attention, said the charity’s head wildlife veterinarian Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar.
"He’ll spend the rest of his life in a safe compound in dignity and free from suffering and pain.”
To help out with Raju's recovery, you can donate to Wildlife SOS here.
Tags: ANIMAL ABUSE, INDIA, WORLD