Elephant Cries Tears of Joy After Being Released from 50 Years of Abusive Captivity

Here at First to Know, we have a love for all creatures, especially elephants.

We’ve featured them being sung to sleep, playing catch with zoo visitors, reuniting with their long-lost companions, taking cute elephant baths, and seeing the ocean for the first time.

Our favorite stories are the ones that tell the tale of how elephants in captivity are rescued by warmhearted people who wish to give them a better life.

Raju, an elephant who had been chained up for 50 years, was recently freed in India by wildlife experts and vets from the British-based Wildlife SOS-UK and 20 Forestry Commission officers in a risky operation that took place in the middle of the night.

A court order granted the rescuers the right to liberate the animal.

Raju was finally freed from the painful and restricting chains after being transported 350 miles to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, where he reportedly cried tears of joy. He took his first unbounded steps at 12:01 a.m. on July 4 — Independence Day.

“Raju was in chains 24 hours a day, an act of intolerable cruelty. The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,” Wildlife SOS-UK’s Pooja Binepal said. “It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.”

Before being freed, this elephant had lived a heartbreaking life, one where he had been regularly abused by his owners, who he is thought to have had 27 in his lifetime.

Could you imagine being chained up for half a century just to be used as a beggars prop?

Photos: Press People