A fifty-year-old elephant was recently rescued from its owners in Uttar Pradesh. According to a report on The Huffington Post. Raju, who was possibly captured as a baby and sold off several times, was rescued by Wildlife SOS. After he was finally freed from bondage, the ill-fed, wounded elephant was found crying.
The report states, “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.”
According to other reports, Raju was mostly used to beg from passersby for money. He was not fed properly and often lived on whatever little people gave him.
“The chains around his legs had spikes which were cutting into his flesh—and each time he moved pus would ooze out of wounds. Pain and brutality were all he knew. His cruel handler even tore out the hair from his tail to sell as good luck charms,” E! Online quotes a Wildlife SOS employee as saying.
A video published on Daily Mail, which captures the rescue operations, shows that the elephant was bound in heavy iron chains with spikes on them.
E! Online notes that the elephant was probably also beaten up by the current owners.
Read the complete Huffington Post story here.