Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Animal cruelty (but a happy ending).]

"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. It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed. Elephants are majestic and highly intelligent animals."—Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife SOS, a group established in 1995 to protect endangered wildlife in India, on the rescue of Raju the elephant, who had been held captive in spiked chains, surviving off scraps and garbage, for much of his 50-year life.

Wildlife SOS rescued him last week, and his rescuers were overwhelmed by Raju's reaction:
"[The rescue team] went in to rescue him and [his captors] had bound him up so tightly that he was in a lot of pain," [Nikki Sharp, the executive director of Wildlife SOS-USA] said. "The vet and our team came with fruits and just started speaking softly to him and to reassure him that we were there to help, and it was at that time that tears flooded down his face. The founder of Wildlife SOS, who was there are the time of the rescue, said ... that really caught him off guard. They've done a lot of elephant rescues and the fact the the tears were just coming down ... he was weeping. It was an emotional moment and everyone was more motivated to get him on the truck and to safety."
Raju will now live out his life at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura, where he is being rehabilitated, socialized, and nursed back to health.

All the blubs forever.

image of Raju, a very tall and very thin elephant, walking down a dirt path in a leafy green sanctuary
Raju in his new home. [Photo via.]

[H/T to Shaker Alison Rose.]

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