The title of the article is “Abused elephant rescued by Wildlife S.O.S.” The caption under the picture of the elderly elephant with tears streaming from his eyes reads “Raju cried as he was freed from 50 years of cruelty; he was delivered to freedom to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, India.” The first few paragraphs of the article, by David Strege of GrindTV Outdoor, say:
Under the cover of darkness, a team from London-based Wildlife S.O.S rescued an elephant that had been abused for 50 years in India and transported it 350 miles to an elephant sanctuary where it walked free for the first time on July 4th.
Raju, believed to have been poached from his mother as a baby, was beaten and left bleeding from painful spiked leg shackles by an abusive owner who had the elephant beg for handouts and survive by eating plastic and paper for food.
The owner also tore out hair from Raju’s tail to sell as good luck charms, Wildlife S.O.S. founder Kartick Satyanarayan told the U.K. MailOnline.
A year after learning of Raju’s plight, Wildlife S.O.S. last week led a team of 10 veterinarians and wildlife officials, 20 forestry department officers and six policemen, and seized the abused elephant from the Uttar Pradesh area of India, after receiving a court order.
“The team [was] astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,” Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife S.O.S., told the MailOnline. “It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.
The ending of this story, though happy, isn’t as good as it should be. The poacher/abuser apparently has not been beaten and left bleeding from painful spiked leg shackles and forced to beg for handouts and to survive by eating plastic and paper for food. Yet.