First of all, what does an elephant being rescued have to do with health?


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It has to do with our humanity, and I firmly believe one of the reasons our collective society is becoming sicker and sicker is because we are letting our humanity slip away. Not to mention, research shows that caring (for people and animals) not only boosts mood but it can boost our physical well-being as well (e.g. immune system, etc.).

Love/compassion is a powerful medicine.

A Story for Humanity

An elephant named Raju endured abuse and was a prisoner for over 50 years. When they took the chains off from Ragu for the very first time he was not only aware of what that meant, he began to weep. Yes, animals can show emotion, just think about how a dog or horse can act depressed or happy to see you.

We tend to think that only humans (or domesticated animals) show emotion but ask any expert who has observed animals in the wild for any length of time and they will tell you that virtually all animals demonstrate a range of emotion.

Just imagine what Ragu’s existence was like for 50 years, physical and mental abuse and at the very least treated like a “dumb animal” with no feeling, no rights?

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When he was finally rescued, his body clearly showed the signs of malnutrition and scars from physical abuse, reports The Dodo. But, of course, the emotional toll Raju endured was no less traumatic.

Said Pooja Binepal of Wildlife SOS:

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Raju’s case was particularly tragic. He has been sold on and on. We believe he has had up to 27 owners. By the time we found him he was in a pathetic condition. He wasn’t fed properly and was in a state of hunger and exhaustion. He began eating plastic and paper. His nails are severely overgrown, he has ­abscesses and wounds because of his spiked shackles and ­continually walking on a Tarmac road has led to his footpad overgrowing.”

In July, a team led by the UK-based animal charity Wildlife SOS intervened to liberate Raju from his cruel existence. When it became clear to the aged elephant that the team was there to help him, he began to weep.

“Raju was in chains 24 hours a day, an act of ­intolerable cruelty. The team was astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed. Elephants are majestic and highly intelligent animals. We can only imagine what torture the past half a century has been for him,” shared Pooja.

Once freed, the elephant was relocated 350 miles away to Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, where he received much needed medical care before becoming companions with the other rescued elephants at the sanctuary.

It is believed the elephant was abducted from his mother in the wild some 50 years ago and has suffered mistreatment at the hands of various owners ever since. Thankfully, his life is now drastically different and Raju is much happier.