This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED…

Rarely have a scene such a moving animal story… The images below have captured the moment Raju the elephant who was held in spiked shackles and tortured for fifty years cried (literally) as he was finally freed.

Raju was left bleeding from his shackles and living on hand-outs from tourists after he was captured all those years ago and enslaved by his “owner”. Fortunately, after 50 years of torture, the elephant shed tears of relief after he was rescued in a daring midnight operation by Wildlife SOS — a London-based charity. Amazingly, Raju’s emancipation took place on July 4, Independence Day.

A team of ten vets and wildlife experts from Wildlife SOS were joined by 20 officers of the forestry department and six policemen to release Raju from his suffering in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The operation took place under the cover of darkness and Pooja Binepal, the Wildlife SOS’s UK spokesman, described it as “incredibly emotional” for the team. She added:

Raju has spent the past 50 years living a pitiful existence in chains 24 hours a day, an act of intolerable cruelty. The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.

Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him. Until we stepped in he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles — it’s a truly pitiful case.

Indeed, and I am so glad the torture is over. (Scroll down for the video.)

1. Raju the elephant was left bleeding from spiked shackles and living on hand-outs from passing tourists after he was captured and tied up by his “owner”.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

2. But, after 50 years of torture, the animal cried tears of relief after he was rescued by a wildlife charity in a daring midnight operation — on July 4, Independence Day.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

3. One of the rescuers said: “The chains around his legs had spikes which were cutting into his flesh — and each time he moved puss would ooze out of wounds. Pain and brutality were all he knew”.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

4. A rescuer said: “His cruel handler even tore out the hair from his tail to sell as good luck charms. The exploitation and abuse just had to stop”.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

5. A team of ten vets and wildlife experts from Wildlife SOS were joined by 20 officers of the forestry department and six policemen to release Raju from his suffering in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

6. The operation took place under the cover of darkness and Pooja Binepal, the Wildlife SOS’s UK spokesman, described it as “incredibly emotional” for the team.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

7. Ms. Binepal added: “Raju has spent the past 50 years living a pitiful existence in chains 24 hours a day, an act of intolerable cruelty”.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

8. Ms. Binepal said: “The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed”.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

9. The rescuer said: “Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him”.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

10. A rescuer attempts to remove Raju’s chains.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

11. The spikes are clearly visible and the pain they must have caused would have been excruciating.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

12. Here is Raju after his rescue — he is recovering as well as could be expected.

This Elephant Was Freed After 50 Years Of Being Held In Spiked Shackles And Beaten. He CRIED...

And here are the videos:

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