Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh
New Delhi: You will probably be moved to tears when you read this whole story. It's the story of Raju, the elephant who wept as he was rescued from fifty years of torment and abuse. This tale also brings to the fore the issue of animal cruelty and the apathy of human beings towards mute beings.
In July 2014, Raju was rescued and freed after spending almost 50 years in chains by the members of the Wildlife SOS Conservation and Care Center in India. The poor creature was enormously emaciated, dehydrated and exhausted because of the sufferings imposed on him by his master. Raju’s last owner, an alleged drug dealer and addict, forced him to wear painful spiked metal shackles on his legs. He controlled him by poking him with a sharp spear, and used Raju to beg for money from tourists and never gave him enough food to survive on.
According to reports, Raju wept a tear of joy as the rescuers cut the chains from his legs. He is now enjoying his new found freedom and is living in a sanctuary with other rescued animals and is also getting nourishing food and proper medical care. But we fear, it might not last long and the sense of relief and happiness might be snatched away soon from Raju.
As they say: Man is the cruelest animal! Now the person who had his illegal custody is trying to get him back through the Allahabad court. He claims that the elephant is his property and must be returned back to him. Though animal experts believe that the owner has no legal claims over him under the wildlife laws owing to the abuse heaped on him but any deviation in this complex legal situation can threaten the good fortune of Raju.
On the other side, Wildlife SOS is doing all that it can to mount a successful legal defense for Raju and is also managing a fundraising effort. A hearing on Raju’s case, originally scheduled for Sept. 4, has been delayed by a week. Wildlife SOS says on its Facebook page:
Raju’s case has been delayed and it will not be heard until September 11. We want you to know that we are feeling very confident and optimistic of the outcome. The few extra days allows us to be even more prepared and bring even more attention to this injustice.
If you too want to lend your voice and support to this cause, please sign this petition and ask others to do the same. Following is the link to the petition :
Your voice can again ensure justice to this cause and let Raju live a dignified life, free from suffering and pain.