|Raju the rescued elephant recovering at a wildlife refuge this|
summer. An Indian court ruled he won't have to go back
to his abusive former "owner."
Raju is an elephant living in India who was treated with terrible cruelty by his "owner" over the course of nearly five decades.
Back in July, an animal protection group called Wildlife SOS rescued Raju from his owner.
He'd been captured as a baby and spent about five decades in spiked shackles, being forced to work as a begging elephant, says the Huffington Post.
I don't know how a human being could do this for so long to a beautiful and intelligent animal like Raju, but it happened.
When Wildlife SOS rescued him earlier this year, a video of the rescue went viral because Raju could be seen crying with relief as the rescuers brought him what was probably the first act of kindness she'd seen in his entire life.
"'The vet and our team came with fruits and just started speaking softly to him, and to reassure him that we were there to help, and it was at that time that tears flooed down his face,' Nikki Sharp, the executive director of Wildlife SOS-USA told The Huffington Post, adding, 'They've done a lot of elephant rescues and the fact the tears were just coming down...he was weeping. It was an emotional moment and everyone was more motivated to get him on the truck and to safety.'
The reason why I was worried is because, according to the Huffington Post, it looked as if Raju's rescue would be short-lived. Her former "owner" sued to get her back, so Raju would live out her days in those shackles, begging and making that creepy guy money.
The previous owner was only named as a "Mr. Shahid," and he said the elephant was his. But the group that rescued Raju says Shadid was unspeakably cruel to the elephant, and besides, he had no papers proving he is the rightful owner.
But last week, an Indian court ruled that Shadid has no right to the elephant, and is charged with illegally obtaining him, says the Telegraph UK.
So Raju will stay at the refuge where Wildlife SOS brought him.
In August, Wildlife SOS reported that Raju has been doing wonderfully at the refuge. He loves to play in the water, he is spoiled with buckets of foods, and he has even made some female friends.
Below, is a video, partly filmed the night Raju was rescued.
My favorite part of the video is when the gentle but determined man cutting the rusty, sharp chains off of Raju tells him, with conviction, "You'll never have to wear these again."
I'm so glad that promise came true.