An elephant, popularly known as Raju, recently celebrated five years of freedom in a ceremony held for him. Raju spent nearly 50 years of his life on the streets of Uttar Pradesh seeking alms for his owner. In 2014, he was rescued by Wildlife SOS, an NGO that rescues and rehabilitates animals in distress. Raju was treated with a cake filled with his favourite fruits including mango and watermelon to celebrate his freedom.
"Years of mistreatment, abuse and inadequate care had left him gaunt and miserable. He was tightly restrained with spiked chains, and his withering body bore multiple scars and chronic abscesses-evidence of repeated jabs with a bullhook," Wildlife SOS said in a statement about Raju the elephant.
Delighted to find the treat, Raju scooped up every bite of the cake with his trunk and stuffed it all into his mouth within minutes!" the NGO further said in a statement.
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''The past five years with Raju has been an incredible journey for all of us. His determination to get better has accelerated his recovery to an extent that nobody was sure, was possible. Watching Raju enjoy his retirement in peace fills our heart with happiness and keeps us motivated to help other elephants that continue to be treated with such cruelty, as he was,'' CEO Wildlife SOS Kartick Satyanarayan said in a statement.