The Untold Part of the Raju Story

March 17, 2015 | By wildlife@dmin

All around the world, people know the story of Raju, the courageous elephant who stole our hearts when he wept during his rescue.

However, what most people don’t know is on that hot night in July, 2014, there were supposed to be two elephants freed.

Yes, two!

Planning had started weeks before to rescue two elephants simultaneously, Raju and Mohan. Both elephants had suffered ceaselessly for over a century in combined years. And for a few of those years, they languished side by side, only a trunk’s length away from one another.

Mohan is approximately 55 to 56 years old, about three to five years older than Raju. Both Raju and Mohan spent several weeks tied next to each other in chains as young calves who were put on display for sale at the Sonepur Mela (a cattle fair at which elephants are often sold illegally), before they were purchased by members of the same family.

Both Raju and Mohan were then subjected to abuse and beatings during their training process. For years, they would be worked from morning to evening, sometimes together and sometimes separately, but they would be chained beside each other at night. Eventually Raju’s owner moved him to Allahabad and Mohan’s owner moved him to Pratapgarh, separating the two bull elephants.

“The fact that they were chained together at only a trunk’s length away from one another for so long makes them brothers in pain. While there is no evidence that they are related by blood, the years of abuse they withstood side by side surely must have bonded them. And each was the other’s only witness to the suffering and brutality they endured,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-Founder of Wildlife SOS.

IMG_5901-logoWe simply couldn’t decide who to rescue first last year, so our intentions were to take them both together. It seemed fitting, given their shared history. But, tragically, Mohan disappeared without a trace during our final rescue preparations. Since that day we have had heavy hearts and have agonized about his welfare.

Now, we are thrilled to report that we have located Mohan! We are determined to bring him home and reunite him with Raju asap, but we need your help to do it! Our goal is to raise $109,500 by March 23rd (and thanks to donations already received, we are already nearly 1/3 of the way there). That’s just one week, but we believe that your generosity and your compassion can make this miraculous rescue opportunity a reality.

Mohan is chained up when he isn’t being worked. He has no shelter, and has become severely dehydrated and malnourished. It will take us some time to bring him back to good health, but we are confident that, with your help, we can make his remaining days, months, years or even decades on Earth comfortable and peaceful.

We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support shown to Raju, and we are hopeful now that Mohan can win your heart as well.

Thank you!

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