Mathura – Known as the elephant who cried tears of joy and relief when the shackles of his chains came off, Raju was rescued nearly a decade ago by Wildlife SOS from unprecedented circumstances. The NGO brought Raju to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura to live a safer life, where he enters his 10th year of freedom.
It is a momentous occasion for one of our star elephants Raju, a geriatric bull (adult male)elephant, who enters the 10th year of his freedom. For 50 long years, that is more than half of an elephant’s lifetime, Raju was kept in spiked chains that dug into his flesh creating pus filled wounds. Everytime he walked, he winced in pain. Five decades of ill-treatment turned this
majestic pachyderm into a husk of his wild self, as he trudged the narrow streets of India without respite from his cruel owner. Raju was only treated as a money-making machine, with his ‘ownership’ changing hands many
times over the years. Just when Raju had given up fighting, the news of his suffering spread like fastwind and his rescue was orchestrated on the 4th of July in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
When Raju arrived, his body bore multiple scars from bulhook injuries, abscesses on his hips and footpads, and wounds on his tail. But with the diligent and tireless efforts of our veterinary team, Raju’s condition is a mere shadow of his past. His tail wound has been healing and his abscesses
also show remarkable improvement due to constant and regular medication.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS said, “As Raju enters the 10th year of his freedom, it is a monumental occasion for Wildlife SOS. It is unimaginable for humans to understand Raju’s pain that he suffered and endured for 50 long years. We worked
hard to give Raju his independence back and he is living a life filled with love and care, under the watchful eyes of our veterinary team and elephant care staff.” Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder and Secretary, Wildlife SOS said, “The second phase of Raju’s life is brimming with compassion and affection. The elephant care staff at the Elephant Hospital Campus make sure that they are always ready with necessary preparations for Raju. A healthy amount of fresh vegetables ensures Raju’s wholesome diet and this gentle pachyderm
likes to spend hours in his enclosure pool, especially during the summer season.” Baiju Raj M.V, Director- Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS said, “Raju is currently receiving treatment for his foot pad abscesses and a chronic tail wound.