When Raju’s rescuers finally gained approval from the Indian courts to confiscate him from his handler last week, they went in at night to avoid too many people, and to protect the elephant from the hot sun.
When rescuers came, Raju’s handler reportedly tried to agitate and provoke the elephant into becoming violent in order to scare them away. However, the group stood their ground, saying the situation was “desperate” and Raju needed to be freed. One doctor said it was as if Raju sensed that change was coming, and the elephant began to cry.
The chains around Raju’s legs were too tight for doctors to completely remove them before loading the elephant onto his transport truck. Doctors moved the transport truck as close to the elephant as possible, and although the shackles must have hurt, Raju was able to walk onto the transport truck. He was transported to the an elephant sanctuary, and doctors said at a minute past midnight on July 4, Raju took his first step off the truck as a free elephant.
The elephant was fed bananas, mangoes, bread and water before doctors attempted to remove the chains from his legs. The process took 45 minutes, with one doctor saying tears were rolling down everyone’s faces when the last rope was cut, and the last spike was removed from Raju’s leg.
Raju’s wounds have been tended to, and he will be rehabilitated to trust the people who will be caring for him. He will first be placed with two other elephants who also suffered abuse, and when he is ready, he will be integrated into the rest of the elephants at the sanctuary, including five frisky females.
Raju is expected to spend the rest of his life at the sanctuary, where doctors will do their utmost to ensure that he is well cared for and well fed without ever having to suffer another day of pain or suffering.
~~Daring midnight rescue operation to free Raju the elephant~~
~Published on Jul 6, 2014~
The dramatic release and rehabilitation of Raju the elephant held in chains for 50 years.
Incredible view the elephant cried Raju held in chains, beaten and abused for fifty years and the day was put on freedom tears rolled down his face.
~~Elephant cries after rescue: Raju abused in captivity for 50 years~~
~~Published on Jul 7, 2014~~
A bull elephant named Raju, who was abused in captivity for 50 years under the ownership of as many as 27 different handlers, cried when he was finally freed last week by the North London charity Wildlife SOS.
Raju was most likely taken from his mother at a young age, and over the next five decades was subjected to cruel care while shacked in ropes and chains with spikes that dug into his flesh.
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