For Raju, a new life of freedom began after 50 years of cruelty, when he was rescued by Wildlife SOS and brought to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Initially shy and weak, it took him a few weeks to familiarize himself with the surroundings and realize that he could roam around free without spiked anklets around his legs.
The very first day that Raju arrived at our rescue center, our veterinarians began treating his wounds, abscesses, and foot pads while creating a nutritious diet plan for him. While our team was working round the clock to provide medical care for Raju to help him recover from his mental and physical trauma, his supporters from all over the world helped us in providing for his treatment and care. We were overwhelmed with the encouraging messages, love, generous donations and heartfelt gifts in kind to help Raju.
We soon discovered his love for long baths in his newly constructed pool.
Raju was introduced to his new family “the herd of hope,” who were already at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center and who welcomed him. Phoolkali, Chanchal, Maya, Sai Geeta and Laxmi seemed to understand the pain he had been through.
Raju shares a very special bond with our lovable girl, Laxmi. They are often seen feeding each other, walking and playing in the pool together.
We have set up special enrichments in his yard for Raju which take care of his daily activities and help us keep him exercised and occupied. He is always excited to play with his enrichments.
But in the middle of all of this joy and recovery, we were surprised to hear about his earlier “custodian” wanting to take Raju back to his life of misery. We immediately approached the Forest Department and submitted a petition addressed to the Honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, which would help us keep Raju free from shackles. The petition has so far gained the support of moer than 350,000 people from around the world.
With all the international support and help from the officials, our lawyers are confident that when Raju’s case is heard in court (October 13, 2014: subject to change) we hope to get a favorable order from the court to keep Raju free.
Thankfully, Raju is unaware of all of this and continues to enjoy his freedom with his fellow elephant friends under the watchful eyes of the Wildlife SOS team and is growing healthier and happier each day!
Thank you for your kind support, as all this would not be possible without each and every one of you. You can donate for Raju’s ongoing care here: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/raju