According to the New York Daily News on Monday, Raju the elephant cried tears of joy after being freed in India. The elephant was rescued following 50 years of being chained and tortured while in captivity. Animal charity workers joined local officials to get Raju the elephant off the farm in India's Uttar Pradesh region, where he was kept and used as a "beggar's prop."
It was reported that Raju had water streaming down his face as a team of rescuers swooped in to release him from his confinement in India in a dangerous nighttime operation. Veternarians and wildlife experts from the British-based Wildlife SOS-UK were joined by 20 Forestry Commission officers and two policemen in mission to rescue the chained animal.. The squad raided the farm in India's Uttar Pradesh region where Raju was kept. During the animal's entire life, it had been regularly beaten and abused by his owners, who used him to beg for money. Raju had a total of 27 owners over the years, and they all mistreated him Raju 24 hours a day. It is believed the Raju might have been snatched from its mother when he was a young calf and was being used from dawn until dusk to make money for its owners.
Rescuers claim that as they liberated the elephant from his chains, he openly wept because he realized that his half-century ordeal had come to an end. The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue.
The rescue was planned a whole year in advance before the actual mission took place a year to the day after the charity had been alerted to Raju's plight by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. A court order allowed rescuers to seize the giant animal, but Raju's owner refused to give him up. That's why the rescuers had to approach at night with a truck. They loaded the sedated elephant onto the back before driving him 350 miles to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, where his shackles were removed.
It is interesting that while we celebrated our freedom on America's Independence Day, Raju took his first steps without chains at 12:01 a.m. on July 4. The now freed animal will be held in an isolation pen for the next week so he can receive emergency medical attention. Wildlife officials are working to raise money so Raju can spend the rest of his life in a new environment.
Do you believe Raju cried tears of joy because of his freedom. Elephants do cry. This is not the first time something like this has been reported. Once the Huffington Post reported that a baby elephant cried for five hours after his own mother attacked and abandoned him at a zoo in China.
Watch the video above to learn more about Raju, the now free elephant.