In a country where Lord Ganesha is prayed to everyday a daring rescue to took place few days ago to free Raju the Elephant who had suffered for 50 years held in chains , beaten and abused everyday . Raju the elephant was bleeding from the shackles of skewers and living on handouts from passing tourists after it was captured and bound by his “owner”. Everyday, the majestic animal was required to hold his trunk and ask a few coins from passersby – surviving only on paper and plastic for food.
A London-based charity Wildlife SOS intervened to save Raju after learning of his situation in India. So last week, a 10 strong team of veterinarians and wildlife experts,20 forest department officials and six policemen came to his rescue at midnight in the Uttar Pradesh India. The animal cried tears of relief after intervened to daring midnight operation.
The mission was carried out under the cover of darkness, as fewer people would be around for the dangerous rescue and animal could be protected from the scorching heat of the sun.
Wildlife SOS founder Kartick Satyanarayan scoped out Raju’s location for 2 days and in the middle of the night, his team moved forward. They encountered opposition from the owner. At first, the owner tried to provoke Raju to terrify him so that he would fight his rescuers. When this didn’t work, the owner wrapped more chains around Raju’s legs that cut even deeper into this flesh.
Luckily, Satyanarayan used chain cutters to remove the chains, but now, they needed Raju to walk to the rescue truck. Even with the pain in his legs, Raju forced himself to do it. Once rescued, the team transported Raju back to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura. The centre’s other elephants came out to greet their newest member. Workers removed the last of Raju’s shackles and after 50 years, Raju took his first steps of freedom, crying tears of joy in the process.
Pooja Binepal spokesman UK charity, described the rescue as “very emotional” for the team.
She said, “Raju has spent the last 50 years living a miserable existence in chains 24 hours a day, an act of intolerable cruelty. “The team were shocked to see tears roll down his cheeks during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being released.
“Elephants are not only majestic, but they are very intelligent animals, which have been shown to have feelings of pain, so I can only imagine what torture than half a century has been to him.’Until we entered he had never known what it feels like to walk free from their shackles – is a truly sad case.’
The daring rescue came exactly one year after the day on which the charity is alerted to the plight of Raju by the Forest Department of Uttar Pradesh in India. A process of confiscation passed by the courts as the owner of Raju had no legal document in his possession, which means the charity could rescue the suffering. It is not known exactly how Raju came to their plight, since little about their early years is known, but the charity believes he was sacked from his mother as a young calf. Ms Binepal said: “Poachers kill either the mother or leading the pack into the traps that are small enough only for babies to fall into the mother cries for her son for several days after it has been stolen. – it is a nasty job.
‘Calves are tied and beaten until they submit to their owners – their spirits are broken effectively.’We discovered if Raju was particularly tragic. “I had been poached as a calf and then been sold and sold in the Incredibly believe that owners have had up to 27 -. Has been treated as a commodity every two years of his life. “By the time we found in July 2013 was in a pathetic state. Had no shelter at night, and was being used to support beg from dawn to dusk of tourist sites in India .’It has not been fed properly and tourists began giving sweet food and that was in a state of hunger and exhaustion began to eat plastic and paper.’Her nails are severely covered, have abscesses and injuries from the shackles and continually walking on a paved road has taken his foot pad overgrowth.’ Once the warrant was finally issued, a team led by the founder of Wildlife SOS Kartick Satyanarayan conducted two days of surveillance before starting the rescue.