Five years ago, life forever changed for Raju the elephant. Before the animal welfare group WildlifeSOS intervened, he had been a street-riding elephant in India for over fifty years. Now, the mature pachyderm lives a comfortable life and is regularly treated like a king.
In 2014, volunteers with WildlifeSOS found Raju being exploited on the streets. At the time, he was sick, severely underweight, and suffering from several medical issues. After gaining the approval of government officials, the elephant was liberated.
Raju stepped into a rescue truck and was transported to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center (ECCC) in Mathura, India. Against all odds, he made a remarkable recovery in both physical and mental health. Under the supervision of veterinarians, Raju put on weight, his wounds healed, and his chronic medical issues dramatically improved.
Because of how much the elephant has overcome, his five year rescue anniversary was an important milestone to the organization. The team showered the elephant with love and even prepared an elephant-friendly cake garnished with watermelons and pumpkins — his favourite foods.
According to GoodNewsNetwork, the team also twisted some fresh green fodder (a favourited snack of elephants) into the shape of a number 5. It was certainly an event to remember.
Watch the video below:
Raju was happy to accept the rescue center’s gifts. You can almost see a big smile on the big guy’s face as he scooped up the tasty bites of his cake.
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Image Credit: WildlifeSOS