The animal world is the most precious thing that we have on our planet and we as humans should keep it and not misuse it. However, in the past that was not the case; the wild animals have been kept in confinement for various purposes, but mainly for entertainment. In the case of Raju, an Indian elephant, this was true, namely he was used for entertaining tourists for food and coins for long fifty years.
Fortunately, Raju is free today after five decades of confinement, but when he was rescued he was really in bad shape, he suffered from malnutrition and he had scars of physical abuse.
This summer Raju was rescued thanks to the efforts of the UK-based animal charity Wildlife SOS.
Pooja Binepal of Wildlife SOS stated the following:
“Raju’s case was particularly tragic. He has been sold on and on. We believe he has had up to 27 owners. By the time we found him he was in a pathetic condition.
He wasn’t fed properly and was in a state of hunger and exhaustion. He began eating plastic and paper. His nails are severely overgrown, he has ¬abscesses and wounds because of his spiked shackles and ¬continually walking on a Tarmac road has led to his footpad overgrowing.”
It is possible that Raju was taken away from his mother 50 years ago, and all his life kept in confinement in poor conditions and daily mistreated. Elephants are smart animals, so when Raju was rescued he began to weep.
“Raju was in chains 24 hours a day, an act of ¬intolerable cruelty. The team was astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. 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.”
The Wildlife SOS found about Raju a year ago, andthe team of this charity organization along with the local authorities initiated a legal process and thus releasedRaju from his keeper.
After the rescue he was transferred to the Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, where he got recuperated from the bad medical shape and socialized with the other rescued animals.
The founder of Wildlife SOS-UK, Kartick Satyanarayan stated:
“The other elephants in the sanctuary awoke from their sleep as we pulled in and came to have a look — it was an extraordinary moment.”
When Raju was brought in this conservation and care center he was first kept in isolation pen for a week so that he could get an emergency medical attention. Thanks to the efforts of the wildlife officials he was saved but they are struggling hard to raise money so that Raju can stay in this centre till he dies.
“All he’s known from human beings is pain and suffering — now we’re asking to help us help him live out his days, with grass under his feet — free from humiliation and pain. It will be a long rehabilitation process, but we will teach him that humans don’t mean pain and brutality, but it’s going to take time.”
“Until we stepped in, he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles. But today he knows what freedom is and he will learn what kindness feels like.”
Raju is now a happy elephant thanks to the shown humanity of numerous people. Now, he can live peaceful life knowing that there are also good people in this world.