It has been five years since Raju the elephant was saved from his previous life as a street-riding elephant in India—and his rescuers are still making sure that he’s being treated like a king every day.
In 2014, Raju was rescued from his plight by the animal welfare group WildlifeSOS. Prior to their intervention, he had been exploited on the streets by his owners for fifty years.
Thankfully, WildlifeSOS was alerted to the situation, and when they finally arrived to witness Raju’s captivity, they found him sick, severely underweight, and suffering from several medical issues.
With the support of government officials, the gentle giant was invited to a better life. Raju then stepped onto the rescue truck and was whisked away to his new forever home at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center (ECCC) in Mathura, India.
Against all the odds, Raju has made remarkable improvements in his physical and mental health. Since the very first day of his arrival at ECCC, the team of veterinarians and keepers has tirelessly tended to his recovery. Under their care, Raju has put on weight, his wounds have healed, and his chronic medical issues are responding well to the treatments.
After such successes, you can imagine how excited everyone at WildlifeSOS was to celebrate his five-year rescue anniversary. The team even prepared an elephant-friendly cake that was garnished with watermelons and pumpkin: Raju’s favorite foods.
Additionally, the team twisted some fresh green fodder—which all elephants love to snack on—into the shape of the number 5.
To the rescue center’s delight, Raju was more than happy to accept their gifts—and showed off a big pachyderm smile as he scooped up the tasty bites of his special cake.
(WATCH the video below)
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