Freed from Decades of Darkness, Elephant Suraj Can’t Stop Smiling

Suraj, a 45-year-old elephant, spent decades in a dark, confined space at a temple in Maharashtra, India. Chained and neglected, the elephant’s name, which means “sun” in Hindi, belied the darkness that defined his life.

When Wildlife SOS learned about Suraj’s dire situation, the organization’s co-founder Geeta Seshamani was determined to rescue him and provide the care he desperately needed.

Watch the video at the end.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, the rescue mission was far from simple. The Wildlife SOS team faced 10 hours of negotiations and opposition from a mob insistent on keeping Suraj captive.

Image 40
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB

Finally, on December 20, 2015, Suraj was loaded onto an elephant ambulance and escorted to safety by local police and state forest department officials.

Image 41
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB

Upon examining the elephant, Wildlife SOS veterinarians discovered the extent of Suraj’s mistreatment, which included bullhook wounds, lice infestations, infected eyes, and a missing left ear – likely torn off when he was poached as a baby.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image 42
Source: Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival foundation – EARS

“Sadly, although [elephants] are worshipped in temples throughout the country, they are housed in pathetic conditions in ignorance of their complex physical, psychological, and social requirements,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.

Image 43
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB
ADVERTISEMENT

After his rescue, Suraj embarked on a four-day journey to Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Center. There, he was warmly welcomed with sugarcane and bananas, marking the beginning of his new life.

Image 44
Source: Copal/FB
Image 45
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB
Image 46
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB

Now, Suraj relishes mud baths, basks in the sun, and enjoys leisurely strolls through fields with a constant smile on his face. Affectionately called the “handsome tusker,” he receives love, treats, and care from his caretakers.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image 47
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB
ADVERTISEMENT
Image 48
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB
Image 49
Source: Wildlife SOS/FB
Image 50
Source: Arte For Elephants

Suraj’s rescue sheds light on the plight of temple elephants in India, emphasizing the need for dignity and respect toward these majestic creatures.

Watch the video below:


Via: The Dodo

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Leave a Comment