Raju the Elephant Freed After 50 Years of Abuse

Raju The Elephant Cries After Being Rescued Following 50 Years Of Abuse, Chains

Posted: 07/07/2014 3:41 pm EDT Updated: 07/07/2014 3:59 pm EDT

For 50 years, Raju the elephant was abused, held shackled in spiked chains and forced to live off scraps from passing tourists. All that changed when he was rescued last weekend by wildlife conservationists who said the animal cried when he was finally set free.

Wildlife SOS, a group established in 1995 to protect endangered wildlife in India, set out to rescue Raju on the night of July 2. Raju is around 50 years old and was likely captured as a baby and bought and sold many times over the course of his life. He was forced to work as a begging elephant in Allahabad. His legs were bound in spiked chains that made walking difficult and left him with chronic wounds. He was also beaten.

Wildlife SOS found out about Raju’s story through India’s Forestry Commission. When the group attempted to rescue Raju on the night of July 2 in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, his owner and mahout — an individual who rides elephants — apparently attempted to dismantle the effort with a standoff, Nikki Sharp, the executive director of Wildlife SOS-USA, told The Huffington Post Monday.

Raju’s captors layered tighter chains on him and attempted to confuse him by shouting commands, but their efforts proved futile. A team of 10 veterinarians and experts from Wildlife SOS along with 20 Forestry Commission officers and two policemen managed to rescue the abused elephant, according to the Mirror, a British tabloid.

“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,” Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife SOS, said, per the Mirror. “It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed. Elephants are majestic and highly intelligent animals. We can only imagine what torture the past half a century has been for him.”

Sharp echoed Binepal’s statement while speaking with HuffPost.

“They [the rescue team] went in to rescue him and they [his captors] had bound him up so tightly that he was in a lot of pain,” she said. “The vet and our team came with fruits and just started speaking softly to him and to reassure him that we were there to help, and it was at that time that tears flooded down his face. The founder of Wildlife SOS, who was there are the time of the rescue, said …. that really caught him off guard. They’ve done a lot of elephant rescues and the fact the the tears were just coming down … he was weeping. It was an emotional moment and everyone was more motivated to get him on the truck and to safety.”

Raju was taken to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. On July 4, the same day Americans celebrated their independence, Raju took his first steps of freedom. Sharp said he is doing “fabulously.” The Wildlife SOS team is prepared to help make Raju comfortable in his new life and to rehabilitate him by treating his physical wounds and introducing him to other elephants at the center.

Elephants can live up to 70 years. Sharp says they hope Raju has another 10 years or more ahead of him.

Visit Wildlife SOS to donate to Raju.



THANK YOU Wildlife SOS for your extraordinary rescue of  Raju, you are true angels!! And much love to you Raju, I hope you live out your days in peace and happiness, freed from the suffering you endured for so long!!

raju the elephant freed at last


Video: Courtesy YouTube PatrynWorldLatestNew

Photo: Courtesy The Huffington Post

Posted in: Animal Cruelty

Tags: Raju, horrific abuse, freed at last, 27 owners?, Wildlife SOS, human cruelty, bull elephant

Published in: on July 8, 2014 at 11:09 am  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My baby, it is a miracle he managed to survive all these years of abuse.


  2. How wonderful! I hope and pray that Raju fully recovers and the rest of his life he knows and feels love.


  3. Noble both.


  4. tears of JOY for him!


  5. May he live on and have his freedom for the rest of his long life! It is sad that most his life was one of pain and abuse and he will only get 10 or so years of freedom. I weep tears of joy for him and his saviors!


  6. I really don’t know what to say, I cried and will send some money towards his needs. He is beautiful and its beyond my comprehension how this evil vile human was able to keep Raja like a shackled slave . Thank you everyone who rescued him , thank you thank you thank you. I pray the evil owner and previous owners pay for their crimes and cruelties to GODS creatures. xxxxxxx


  7. I cried what is wrong with some people bad children or just evil inside ,heartbreaking really, children are abused, animals are abused really disgusting. Beautiful baby I hope he enjoys the rest of his days.


  8. This is wonderful news! Even though I am crying like a little baby reading this story. I hope Raju has a happy and wonderful rest of his life, no matter how long that may be. I can only imagine his relief to know that there ARE kind people out there.
    What bothers me is “they” consider elephants sacred. This animal is sacred!!!?? To be treated like this??WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE HARMING HIM??????? HAVE YOU NO SHAME!!! HELL will be too good of a place for you when it is your time to go.


  9. Reading how this poor elephant was treated nearly made me sick. Thank goodness all of our kind are not like some that we read about.


    • This was a tough story for me too ida, so glad Raju is in loving hands now, he suffered so much ):

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t read this whole article because just hearing about this breaks my heart, and I would be so depressed for days just thinking about what this poor elephant went through. I’m so thankful to the people who saved him, and I would like to contribute something towards his care. Please send me info on this. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m glad he was rescued


  12. So glad there are humans doing work like this… such an awful way to exist for 50 years!!! Unreal something wasn’t done sooner! Complacency KILLS… Namaste Raju….


  13. Just look at these poor elephants responding to an air raid siren in Israel. What the hell are we doing to this world?



    • Screwing it up. Most of the world’s problems come from a discourteous and selfish attitude coupled with a deluded sense of innocence/righteousness.


  14. To the rescuers…God has a very grand, special place for you. Thank you for this beautiful story of compassion. That we and all creatures, as inhabitants of the planet, could all live in peace and harmony….that is my ongoing prayer and dream. May Raju live happily for the rest of his days and know that not all humans are cruel!


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