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 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.
“Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.
God works in mysterious ways. Than you for the rescue of this magnificant animal!