This Elephant Gained His Freedom...And His Reaction Was So Beautiful
by N/A, 9 years ago | 3 min read| 2873
Raju's back story is heart breaking. For many years—decades, in fact—Raju was held captive and treated absolutely brutally. He was chained to the ground with spikes digging into his skin, mistreated by a cruel owner who used him to beg for handouts from passersby in Uttar Pradesh, India.
When the London-based charity Wildlife SOS was tipped off about Raju, they came in to rescue the poor elephant from his awful circumstances. The accompanying photos are from that rescue, and don't worry, there's a happy ending! But warning: the reaction Raju has to his freedom might just permanently melt your heart.
Raju sits and perhaps does not yet know that this is about to be the greatest day of his life.
These are the chains that he was brutally tied down with.
A 10-person team came to Raju's rescue, working at night so that the captors would not attempt to interfere with their mission.
They found countless open wounds from the spikes and chains that bound poor Raju.
But when they set him free, something absolutely magical happened: Raju cried real tears of joy.
If this is not beautiful I just don't know what is.
Raju was immediately brought to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura.
Recovery was not an easy process. Raju was in an extremely fragile and unhealthy condition when he was rescued.
But that was not enough to discourage the team.
Raju was given intensive care.
He was bathed and fed and loved and monitored to ensure his health would increase.
Said Booja Binepal, spokesperson for the Wildlife SOS team that orchestrated Raju's rescue: "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.â€
Do not show me this again