No need to cry anymore! The Weeping Elephant, Finally Declared Free from Abusive Owners

Raju, the elephant whose tears of relief touched the hearts of millions after over 50 years of abuse and captivity, has been officially declared free from his previous owners.

The elephant had been suffering in spiked shackles, begging for coins from passers-by in Uttar Pradesh, India, and living off plastic and paper scraps.

A team of veterinarians, wildlife experts, forestry officers, and policemen took part in a daring rescue operation in July led by the British charity Wildlife SOS. However, Raju’s future was uncertain when his former owners initiated a legal battle, claiming him as their “rightful property.”

Raju celebrates by playing in the water at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in India after it was ruled he is finally free of his former ab𝚞sive owners.
Raju’s former owners had launched a legal battle in the Indian co𝚞rts to reclaim him after insisting he was their ‘rightful property.

After a series of hearings, an Indian court ruled in favor of Wildlife SOS, ensuring Raju’s safety and freedom. The charity’s founder, Kartick Satyanarayan, expressed immense joy and relief, emphasizing that this victory was significant for all elephants enduring silent suffering.

In court, Wildlife SOS’s lawyers successfully argued that under Indian law, elephants could not be privately owned, as they are considered property of the government. As Raju’s former owners failed to produce the required certificate from the Chief Wildlife Warden, the case was dismissed.

In the co𝚞rt in India, Wildlife SOS lawyers argued an elephant could not be owned by someone under Indian law as they are all owned by the Government.
Founder of the Wildlife SOS charity Kartick Satyanarayan said it was unthinkable that Raju may have had to be returned to his former life.

Nikki Sharp, Wildlife SOS executive director, expressed gratitude for the ruling, which ensures that Raju will never return to the abusive life he once knew. The elephant has started to settle in, make friends, and trust people at the charity’s sanctuary.

The legal team of Raju’s former owners was unable to produce documents to show that they were the certified owners of the elephant.
Wildlife experts believe that Raju was poached by his mother as a young calf before being sold and treated as a commodity.

Raju’s rescue was part of a larger effort by Wildlife SOS to save elephants from abusive situations. The charity believes Raju was likely poached from his mother as a calf and sold multiple times throughout his life, with as many as 27 different owners. When the team found Raju in 2013, he was in a severely neglected and abused state.

A 10-strong team of vets and wildlife experts was joined by 20 forestry department officers and six policemen to seize Raju from his s𝚞ffering in July.
The head vet from the charity Wildlife SOS Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, had the job of freeing Raju from his chains.
The head vet from the charity Wildlife SOS Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, had the job of freeing Raju from his chains.

Since then, Raju’s medical treatment has cost over £40,000, as his legs and feet were severely damaged from years of abuse. He experienced unimaginable cruelty, including the removal of tail hair to be sold as good luck charms.

The moment that Raju was finally freed from his chains, wildlife experts said that t𝚎ars rolled down his face as he began to cry.
A delighted Raju appears to smile after enjoying his first meal after being freed. The charity believes that the elephant had a total of 27 owners after being poached as a calf.

Now, Wildlife SOS has launched a campaign to save the remaining 67 performing circus elephants in India. The charity relies on public donations to help these animals live their lives with dignity and free from pain.

The charity has so far spent £40,000 on the elephant’s medical treatment so far and he is still suffering from open wounds and a serio𝚞is limp.
After his release, Raju was taken to Wildlife SOS’s sanctuary. The organization is also planning to resc𝚞e another elephant from its abusive owner.

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