Raju the elephant had been chained up all 50 years of his existence. It’s all he ever knew. All of the pain and suffering had been at the hands of humans, but it’d be another group of humans who would step in and change everything for him.

Raju lived in India where he had to survive off of trash and whatever tourists handed out to him.

Source: Press People

But after 50 years of abuse, a midnight rescue would free the elephant from that lifetime of neglect and pain.

Source: Press People

It was Wildlife SOS, a north London-based charity, who stepped in. And the rescue would put Raju in tears.

Source: Press People

He shed actual tears when set free.

Source: Press People

So sad to see, but it meant good things to come!

Source: Press People

Pooja Binepal, the charity’s UK spokeswoman, said they were surprised to see the elephant cry. “It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed.”

Source: Press People

Raju’s owner tried to prevent the rescue by yelling commands at the elephant, and rescuers worried he may flee the scene.

Source: Press People

But Wildlife SOS never gave up. “We stood our ground and refused to back down — and as we did so, tears began to roll down Raju’s face.”

Source: Press People

It was a minute past midnight on July 4th that Raju stepped off the truck to freedom.

Source: Press People

Raju would spend the rest of his life free of pain and agony.

Source: Press People

Thanks to Wildlife SOS for all of their hard work. A sad story, but what a wonderful ending!

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