Raju the Elephant Cries with Happiness after Being Rescued from 50 Years of Suffering in Chains

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This is the heartbreaking story of an elephant named Raju from India who had a very rough life. After his mother was poached at a young age Raju was passed from one owner to another, often with little consideration for his welfare. He was left without proper shelter and was used as a beggars prop all day long.

Raju only just survived, some days he would resort to eating plastic or paper rubbish after being chained for 24 hours a day. SOS-UK decided that they could not stand by and let this happen to Raju any longer, so in a daring midnight operation they set Raju free.

When Raju realised what was happening he began to cry - “It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed” – claims Pooja Binepal, one of the rescuers in an interview with Presspeople.

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Elephants have a large hippocampus, which is a brain structure linked to emotion. Although it's not proven, it is thought that elephants are able to weep as part of an emotional response to a situation.

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Raju's owner tried to resist the attempt to free him. But rescuers stood their ground.

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The chains restraining Raju were so tight they took 45 minutes to remove before he could be set free.

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Raju was exhausted from his ordeal.

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Wildlife SOS-UK are hoping to raise £10,000 to ensure this amazing elephant spends the rest of his life free. Find out more here.

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