Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
TomJH

The Crying Elephant

Recommended Posts

There seem to always be cases of animal cruelty reported by the media, something that strikes deep in the hearts of many of us.

 

Somehow, though, this case of an elephant whom rescuers claimed actually cried when they freed him after 50 years of abuse seemed particularly heart wrenching to me:

 

Crying or not, Raju has raised awareness of cruelty to elephants

 

Mathura, India (CNN) -- When Raju the elephant was rescued after being shackled and abused for five decades, the story and picture of him "crying" went viral. His rescuers say he apparently cried first while he was still in his captor's custody. His rescuers describe the tears as "gushes of liquid" coming out of his eyes, pouring down both cheeks. They say he looked like he was in a lot of pain.

 

"It was a very emotional moment for us, because we've never seen an elephant cry like that," says Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS. "He was weeping."

 

The rescue occured in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh state, on July 4. Video and images were published three days later and have since registered well over a million views on YouTube.

 

Even though a team of 10 wildlife experts and 30 enforcement officers were involved in Raju's rescue, it took eight hours to free the malnourished elephant. Satyanarayan says the shackles, l a d e n with spikes, were tied so tightly around Raju's wounded legs that after they unchained him, he cried again.

 
 
140323023650-dnt-elephants-escape-circusElephants escape circus and damage cars

 

 
130618175109-elephant-ivory-03-story-bodProtecting Chad's elephants from poachers

 

140113132503-spc-inside-africa-elephantsCan elephants and humans co-exist?

This time, they appeared to be tears of joy.

"I don't know how scientific this is, but it seemed like he understood that we were there to help him," Satyanarayan said.

 

Different owners, repeated cruelty

It is not known whether elephants can cry, but experts say they're known to be emotional animals.

But Raju's story goes far beyond the tears he shed, whether of pain or joy; it puts the spotlight on a much larger animal-rights issue in India.

 

Raju's rescuers believe he was poached soon after he was born, and that he was sold again and again. He may have had up to 27 owners. They believe Raju was beaten severely, and say the weapons used against him look like they belong in a torture chamber. He was even speared.

The idea was to "show the elephant who is boss," says Geeta Seshamani, another Wildlife SOS co-founder.

 

Raju was forced to work as a "begging prop" -- on the side of the road, at temples -- and sometimes was rented out for weddings and other celebrations. All the while, his rescuers allege, he was kept in line with beatings and starvation.

 

Tradition is a huge obstacle

It is illegal to trade or commercially exploit elephants in India, but the practice is common.

Since 2011, India-based Wildlife SOS has rescued 11 elephants subjected to torture. They've also rescued thousands of captive bears, leopards and monkeys. Still, there are more than 3,000 elephants still living in captivity in India.

 

Seshamani says the biggest challenge is changing the people's mindset; tradition is a grounds for justifying every kind of cruelty against captive elephants. The animals have been used in Indian weddings as a vehicle for the groom. They also are kept in temples as representations of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh.

 

"It is ironic that Indians worship the elephant god, the monkey god ... but when it comes to protecting animals, the majority don't understand," Satyanarayan says. And, in a country of 1.2 billion people, many of whom live in poverty, animal rights have yet to become a priority.

 

Raju is now healing from his wounds and getting care among the other rescued elephants. A veterinarian said an elephant Raju's age and size should weigh between 4,500 and 4,800 kilos (around 5 tons), but Raju is only half that weight. While many of the elephants can move around freely, experts say it will take years for Raju to learn to accept the kindness of human beings.

 

But for now, at last, he's free.

 

And here's a link to the CNN report on Raju:

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/11/world/asia/india-crying-elephant/

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thought this topic was gonna be about the current proclivity of the republican party.

 

wish it was, actually.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There seem to always be cases of animal cruelty reported by the media, something that strikes deep in the hearts of many of us.

 

Somehow, though, this case of an elephant whom rescuers claimed actually cried when they freed him after 50 years of abuse seemed particularly heart wrenching to me:

 

Crying or not, Raju has raised awareness of cruelty to elephants

 

Mathura, India (CNN) -- When Raju the elephant was rescued after being shackled and abused for five decades, the story and picture of him "crying" went viral. His rescuers say he apparently cried first while he was still in his captor's custody. His rescuers describe the tears as "gushes of liquid" coming out of his eyes, pouring down both cheeks. They say he looked like he was in a lot of pain.

 

"It was a very emotional moment for us, because we've never seen an elephant cry like that," says Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS. "He was weeping."

 

The rescue occured in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh state, on July 4. Video and images were published three days later and have since registered well over a million views on YouTube.

 

Even though a team of 10 wildlife experts and 30 enforcement officers were involved in Raju's rescue, it took eight hours to free the malnourished elephant. Satyanarayan says the shackles, l a d e n with spikes, were tied so tightly around Raju's wounded legs that after they unchained him, he cried again.

 
 
140323023650-dnt-elephants-escape-circusElephants escape circus and damage cars

 

 
130618175109-elephant-ivory-03-story-bodProtecting Chad's elephants from poachers

 

140113132503-spc-inside-africa-elephantsCan elephants and humans co-exist?

This time, they appeared to be tears of joy.

"I don't know how scientific this is, but it seemed like he understood that we were there to help him," Satyanarayan said.

 

Different owners, repeated cruelty

It is not known whether elephants can cry, but experts say they're known to be emotional animals.

But Raju's story goes far beyond the tears he shed, whether of pain or joy; it puts the spotlight on a much larger animal-rights issue in India.

 

Raju's rescuers believe he was poached soon after he was born, and that he was sold again and again. He may have had up to 27 owners. They believe Raju was beaten severely, and say the weapons used against him look like they belong in a torture chamber. He was even speared.

The idea was to "show the elephant who is boss," says Geeta Seshamani, another Wildlife SOS co-founder.

 

Raju was forced to work as a "begging prop" -- on the side of the road, at temples -- and sometimes was rented out for weddings and other celebrations. All the while, his rescuers allege, he was kept in line with beatings and starvation.

 

Tradition is a huge obstacle

It is illegal to trade or commercially exploit elephants in India, but the practice is common.

Since 2011, India-based Wildlife SOS has rescued 11 elephants subjected to torture. They've also rescued thousands of captive bears, leopards and monkeys. Still, there are more than 3,000 elephants still living in captivity in India.

 

Seshamani says the biggest challenge is changing the people's mindset; tradition is a grounds for justifying every kind of cruelty against captive elephants. The animals have been used in Indian weddings as a vehicle for the groom. They also are kept in temples as representations of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh.

 

"It is ironic that Indians worship the elephant god, the monkey god ... but when it comes to protecting animals, the majority don't understand," Satyanarayan says. And, in a country of 1.2 billion people, many of whom live in poverty, animal rights have yet to become a priority.

 

Raju is now healing from his wounds and getting care among the other rescued elephants. A veterinarian said an elephant Raju's age and size should weigh between 4,500 and 4,800 kilos (around 5 tons), but Raju is only half that weight. While many of the elephants can move around freely, experts say it will take years for Raju to learn to accept the kindness of human beings.

 

But for now, at last, he's free.

 

And here's a link to the CNN report on Raju:

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/11/world/asia/india-crying-elephant/

Tom, wonderful story. Btw, The Times of India, which has a great app, tends to have many stories about kindness to animals and animals expressing what we generally think of as human emotions. If you can't get the app, the TOI also has a great website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting, as this is a topic deeply close to my heart.   The story (whatever you say about the Daily Mail, they do a brilliant job of covering animal stories!) about Raju was devastating.  To suffer those conditions for 50 years is unimaginable.  The group who rescued him was heroic, and I hope Raju's horrific story will draw more attention to plight of all elephants.  I wish I could do more than make a donation--letting him re-live those years with love and naps and mangos, for starters.

 

One thing that bothered me in comments sections was questioning the crying.  Elephants are extremely close to their families, and help the young and those in trouble.  And they do remember; there are many stories of former zoo or circus elephants having joyful reunions, even after decades. Years ago I had an acquaintance who was an elephant keeper at a renowned zoo in California.  When one of the elephants died the others stood vigil, and one breathed into her trunk in an apparent attempt to resuscitate her. 

 

I have no doubt that Raju cried, and can't help feeling shame at being a member of the species who caused him such agony. 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were even reports of cruelty to elephants on the set of Water for Elephants a film a few years back.

Yes, I read about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting, as this is a topic deeply close to my heart.   The story (whatever you say about the Daily Mail, they do a brilliant job of covering animal stories!) about Raju was devastating.  To suffer those conditions for 50 years is unimaginable.  The group who rescued him was heroic, and I hope Raju's horrific story will draw more attention to plight of all elephants.  I wish I could do more than make a donation--letting him re-live those years with love and naps and mangos, for starters.

 

One thing that bothered me in comments sections was questioning the crying.  Elephants are extremely close to their families, and help the young and those in trouble.  And they do remember; there are many stories of former zoo or circus elephants having joyful reunions, even after decades. Years ago I had an acquaintance who was an elephant keeper at a renowned zoo in California.  When one of the elephants died the others stood vigil, and one breathed into her trunk in an apparent attempt to resuscitate her. 

 

I have no doubt that Raju cried, and can't help feeling shame at being a member of the species who caused him such agony. 

Thanks for the lovely post, GayDivorcee.

 

I don't want to see ANY animal suffer, of course. There's something about the elephant, though, with which I think many people seem to identify. Is it admiration for the majesty of its size, the fact that, like humans, it is very family oriented and so fiercely protective of its young (not that that makes it unique among animals). It is a highly emotional animal. The thought of one being so abused (and for half a century, my god!!!!!) that it may have even shed tears in its agony (something, admittedly, that scientists dispute is possible) touched me profoundly. Thus, my reason for posting the article.

 

I'm not at all surprised that others would feel the same way about this story which, at least, has a hopeful future for the elephant, even though he may never come to truly trust man (and who can blame him?).

 

Still, as you said, we should celebrate Raju's rescuers, who have saved some other elephants as well. Possibly with the world spotlight momentarily on the issue of animal abuse in India it will give some in its society pause to think about the years of traditional treatment of its beasts of burden. Even as I write that, I don't really believe it, but we can at least hope that something positive may come of this story. That would be even more the case if western media concentrated upon other stories of this nature bringing it to world attention. That, in turn, may cause the Indian media to start examining its nation's treatment of animals in a manner in which they have been remiss in the past.

 

IndianElephant.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Times of India, which has a great app, tends to have many stories about kindness to animals and animals expressing what we generally think of as human emotions. If you can't get the app, the TOI also has a great website.

Thanks for the word, Swithin. We need to keep in mind the good stories, as well as be aware of the bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the lovely post, GayDivorcee.

 

I don't want to see ANY animal suffer, of course. There's something about the elephant, though, with which I think many people seem to identify. Is it admiration for the majesty of its size, the fact that, like humans, it is very family oriented and so fiercely protective of its young (not that that makes it unique among animals). It is a highly emotional animal. The thought of one being so abused (and for half a century, my god!!!!!) that it may have even shed tears in its agony (something, admittedly, that scientists dispute is possible) touched me profoundly. Thus, my reason for posting the article.

 

I'm not at all surprised that others would feel the same way about this story which, at least, has a hopeful future for the elephant, even though he may never come to truly trust man (and who can blame him?).

 

Still, as you said, we should celebrate Raju's rescuers, who have saved some other elephants as well. Possibly with the world spotlight momentarily on the issue of animal abuse in India it will give some in its society pause to think about the years of traditional treatment of its beasts of burden. Even as I write that, I don't really believe it, but we can at least hope that something positive may come of this story. That would be even more the case if western media concentrated upon other stories of this nature bringing it to world attention. That, in turn, may cause the Indian media to start examining its nation's treatment of animals in a manner in which they have been remiss in the past.

 

IndianElephant.jpg

Beautifully said, TomJH.  Magnificent photo!

 

I think it was the Babar books and Tarzan movies which inspired my love for elephants--I just know I've always had a deep affection for them.  Many years ago a friend was doing a sound research project at a zoo, and took me along.  (I am not a fan of elephants  kept in zoos, I should add.)  We met two of the elephants, and scratched their tongues and blew into their trunks, as instructed by their keepers.  We watched as they were put in their inside enclosure for the night (chained at the foot), each in his or her own spot.  It was very quiet and we sat on the concrete floor watching them for half an hour.  

 

More recently I've visited a large sanctuary, PAWS, for former performing animals, or from zoos, or confiscated from bad situations.  It was heaven to see the elephants wandering around, eating, trumpeting, swimming, etc.  

 

Anyway, thanks very much for posting Raju's story.  His rescue has inspired me to do more for the animals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GayDivorcee, if you visited PAWS recently then you may have seen the three elephants, Iringa, Toika and Thicka, that arrived there last November from the Toronto Metropolitan Zoo. They were transported 4500 miles by flatbed trucks and apparently all went well in the journey.

 

The winter weather in Toronto can be brutal on elephants and, unfortunately, there had been a couple of elephant deaths here over the past few years which had sent off alarm bells of concern that Toronto was not the right place for them to live. Bob Barker, the former game show host and animal lover, had contributed his own money, I believe, for the trip. The trip had been delayed for months, as those three elephants had gotten caught up in a local  politics with members of the Toronto Zoo claiming that PAWS was not the right place for them.

 

The last that I heard, though, those three elephants are doing well at that sanctuary near Sacremento. Thank goodness they won't suffer another Toronto winter. Just think, too, of the worst winter here in years that they avoided by arriving at PAWS before it set in last year.

 

The elephant has been ranked by some scientists with the dolphin and primates as clearly one of the most intelligent of all animals. It's identification with man is such that it is an animal that has long term memory (thus that hoary old stereotype about an elephant never forgetting). It can use tools, like a primate. It can be playful, with the females having powerful mothering instincts. It can show compassion, altruism and experience powerful degrees of grief with the loss of a mate or young. Being a highly emotional animal, it is also known to have shown signs of post traumatic stress. (Just think of that video image of Raju, now freed after 50 years of abuse, with his head constantly bobbing up and down). 

 

An illustration of the elephant as a strong social animal is provided by this anecdote from Wikipedia:

 

 Elephant families can only be separated by death or capture. Cynthia Moss, an ethologist specialising in elephants, recalls an event involving a family of African elephants. Two members of the family were shot by poachers, who were subsequently chased off by the remaining elephants. Although one of the elephants died, the other, named Tina, remained standing, but with knees beginning to give way. Two family members, Trista and Teresia (Tina's mother), walked to both sides of Tina and leaned in to hold her up. Eventually, Tina grew so weak, she fell to the ground and died. However, Trista and Teresia did not give up but continually tried to lift her. They managed to get Tina into a sitting position, but her body was lifeless and fell to the ground again. As the other elephant family members became more intensely involved in the aid, they tried to put grass into Tina's mouth. Teresia then put her tusks beneath Tina's head and front quarters and proceeded to lift her. As she did so, her right tusk broke completely off, right up to the lip and nerve cavity. The elephants gave up trying to lift Tina but did not leave her; instead, they began to bury her in a shallow grave and throw leaves over her body. They stood over Tina for the night and then began to leave in the morning. The last to leave was Teresia.

 

To abuse or kill an elephant, particularly for the purpose of collecting ivory, potential extinction of the species be damned, is viewed by many, considering the animal's high intelligence and many personality characteristics it shares with man, as a morale outrage and crime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GayDivorcee, if you visited PAWS recently then you may have seen the three elephants, Iringa, Toika and Thicka, that arrived there last November from the Toronto Metropolitan Zoo. They were transported 4500 miles by flatbed trucks and apparently all went well in the journey.

 

The winter weather in Toronto can be brutal on elephants and, unfortunately, there had been a couple of elephant deaths here over the past few years which had sent off alarm bells of concern that Toronto was not the right place for them to live. Bob Barker, the former game show host and animal lover, had contributed his own money, I believe, for the trip. The trip had been delayed for months, as those three elephants had gotten caught up in a local  politics with members of the Toronto Zoo claiming that PAWS was not the right place for them.

 

The last that I heard those, though, those three elephants are doing well at that sanctuary near Sacremento. Thank goodness they won't suffer another Toronto winter. Just think, too, of the worst winter here in years that they avoided by arriving at PAWS before it set in last year.

 

 

Well, to be honest with ya here Tom, as a native Southern Californian, I've always thought livin' up your way in winter was even pretty darn cruel to Humans TOO!!!

 

(...sorry, couldn't resist...just think of this as "comic relief" here, 'cause to think of how cruel some members of the human race can sometimes be, I NEED "comic relief" to help cope with that occasionally)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, to be honest with ya here Tom, as a native Southern Californian, I've always thought livin' up your way in winter was even pretty darn cruel to Humans TOO!!!

 

(...sorry, couldn't resist...just think of this as "comic relief" here, 'cause to think of how cruel some members of the human race can sometimes be, I NEED "comic relief" to help cope with that occasionally)

Thanks very much, Dargo, I appreciate the humour. And I more than understand your need for it, at times!

 

As an illustration of the altruism that has been seen from some elephants, the following is from Wiki:

 

Elephants are thought to be highly altruistic animals that even aid other species, including humans, in distress. In India, an elephant was helping locals lift logs by following a truck and placing the logs in pre-dug holes upon instruction from the mahout (elephant trainer). At a certain hole, the elephant refused to lower the log. The mahout came to investigate the hold-up and noticed a dog sleeping in the hole. The elephant only lowered the log when the dog was gone.

 

Cynthia Moss has often seen elephants going out of their way to avoid hurting or killing a human, even when it was difficult for them (such as having to walk backwards to avoid a person).

 

Joyce Poole documented an encounter told to her by Colin Francombe on Kuki Gallman's Laikipia Ranch. A ranch herder was out on his own with camels when he came across a family of elephants. The matriarch charged at him and knocked him over with her trunk, breaking one of his legs. In the evening, when he did not return, a search party was sent in a truck to find him. When the party discovered him, he was being guarded by an elephant. The animal charged the truck, so they shot over her and scared her away. The herdsman later told them that when he could not stand up, the elephant used her trunk to lift him under the shade of a tree. She guarded him for the day and would gently touch him with her trunk.

 

Amazing, isn't it, how some elephants have shown more innate compassion for another species than have many members of the human race.

 

african-elephant_435_600x450.jpg

 

5b7efab3-9db2-4f1e-a926-b82118fd16e8_zps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting story demonstrates both the sensibility of the elephant and the problems arising from human society encroaching on the forest:

 

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Elephant-pulls-down-house-in-Bengal-then-rescues-10-month-old-baby-trapped-under-debris/articleshow/31860512.cms

Thanks very much for the link, Swithin. It highlights the conflict between man and the elephant when man encroaches upon traditional migration routes of the animal. But it also shows, tellingly, the compassion that a marauding, destructive elephant demonstrated for a crying baby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GayDivorcee, if you visited PAWS recently then you may have seen the three elephants, Iringa, Toika and Thicka, that arrived there last November from the Toronto Metropolitan Zoo. They were transported 4500 miles by flatbed trucks and apparently all went well in the journey.

 

The winter weather in Toronto can be brutal on elephants and, unfortunately, there had been a couple of elephant deaths here over the past few years which had sent off alarm bells of concern that Toronto was not the right place for them to live. Bob Barker, the former game show host and animal lover, had contributed his own money, I believe, for the trip. The trip had been delayed for months, as those three elephants had gotten caught up in a local  politics with members of the Toronto Zoo claiming that PAWS was not the right place for them.

 

The last that I heard, though, those three elephants are doing well at that sanctuary near Sacremento. Thank goodness they won't suffer another Toronto winter. Just think, too, of the worst winter here in years that they avoided by arriving at PAWS before it set in last year.

 

The elephant has been ranked by some scientists with the dolphin and primates as clearly one of the most intelligent of all animals. It's identification with man is such that it is an animal that has long term memory (thus that hoary old stereotype about an elephant never forgetting). It can use tools, like a primate. It can be playful, with the females having powerful mothering instincts. It can show compassion, altruism and experience powerful degrees of grief with the loss of a mate or young. Being a highly emotional animal, it is also known to have shown signs of post traumatic stress. (Just think of that video image of Raju, now freed after 50 years of abuse, with his head constantly bobbing up and down). 

 

An illustration of the elephant as a strong social animal is provided by this anecdote from Wikipedia:

 

 Elephant families can only be separated by death or capture. Cynthia Moss, an ethologist specialising in elephants, recalls an event involving a family of African elephants. Two members of the family were shot by poachers, who were subsequently chased off by the remaining elephants. Although one of the elephants died, the other, named Tina, remained standing, but with knees beginning to give way. Two family members, Trista and Teresia (Tina's mother), walked to both sides of Tina and leaned in to hold her up. Eventually, Tina grew so weak, she fell to the ground and died. However, Trista and Teresia did not give up but continually tried to lift her. They managed to get Tina into a sitting position, but her body was lifeless and fell to the ground again. As the other elephant family members became more intensely involved in the aid, they tried to put grass into Tina's mouth. Teresia then put her tusks beneath Tina's head and front quarters and proceeded to lift her. As she did so, her right tusk broke completely off, right up to the lip and nerve cavity. The elephants gave up trying to lift Tina but did not leave her; instead, they began to bury her in a shallow grave and throw leaves over her body. They stood over Tina for the night and then began to leave in the morning. The last to leave was Teresia.

 

To abuse or kill an elephant, particularly for the purpose of collecting ivory, potential extinction of the species be damned, is viewed by many, considering the animal's high intelligence and many personality characteristics it shares with man, as a morale outrage and crime.

 

Sorry, I should have said "more recently," as these days "recently" might mean up to a few years ago or so!  I was at PAWS about three years ago, before the arrival of the Toronto Zoo elephants.  I've read the hoopla surrounding it all, and the sadness of Toronto residents losing "their" beloved elephants.  I hope they'll watch the videos PAWS has online, and know that these elephants are now in paradise, or as close to it as possible.  The sanctuary is in a beautiful, remote area, with trees, hills, ponds, and serenity.  And yes, bless the remarkably generous Bob Barker for making it possible financially.  He is an angel for animals.

 

The piece by Cynthia Moss is heartbreaking.   The lengths they go to to help their fellow elephants, even burying them, and their acute sensitivity...  I just find the killing or mistreatment of such intelligent, emotional creatures obscene.

 

By the way, did you know of Mark Shand?  I was unaware of him and his work until his tragic death in New York City a few months ago. He was a champion of Indian elephants, and died after a fundraiser for his elephant charity.  Years ago on a lark he bought an elephant in India (maybe a begging elephant, like Raju) and it changed his life.  Fascinating reading, if you're interested.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* Raju *

 

Acknowledging the emotions, self-awareness, and, yes, reason of elephants isn't anthropomorphizing them or romanticizing nature. It's understanding that humans aren't the only highly sensitive and developed species on the planet. I cannot believe how we too often treat them & then rationalize our wrongs. There are the circuses but also other places & means. Last year PBS aired a Nat Geo special about poaching and the ivory trade in which a man proclaimed that elephants are happy to be slaughtered for their tusks to be used in religious carvings.

 

Of course, sometimes we can harm them even when trying to help. In those sad cases, all we can do is learn and try better. Tonight PBS premieres a new show about just that. It's called My Wild Affair and the episode title is "The Elephant Who Found a Mom". I'm going to need a hanky, I know it. Check your local listings. 

 

One of the most amazing things I ever heard about elephants' sometimes uncanny ablities is an account of what happened at a sanctuary in Kenya. Three orphaned baby elephants were being transfered to a halfway house. About one hour before they arrived, two groups each of 12-14 elephants - graduates of the program now living wild - emerged from the bush and waited. When the little ones got there, the older elephants came to greet them. How did they know they were coming? ( http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-04-05/environmental-outlook-born-be-wild/transcript ) Here's a National Geographic magazine feature about the sanctuary: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/orphan-elephants/siebert-text

 

Last year TCM aired a documentary movie about a man who worked with elephants. I tuned in part way & recorded some of it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Toronto zoo elephant Thinka enjoying the mud.  (Is that where the term "wallowing in" it comes from?!)  Beautiful girl.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Toronto zoo elephant Thinka enjoying the mud.  (Is that where the term "wallowing in" it comes from?!)  Beautiful girl.

 

 

Thanks for the video, GayDivorcee. She really looks like she's having fun. I think she would have done a head stand in the mud if she could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a followup report on Raju, with some details from the rescue team on what was involved in that midnight rescue. It's followed by a link to a video which shows some of the spiked chains being removed from one of the elephant's legs, as well as a view of the animal since the rescue:

 

Watch: Elephant Sheds Tears Of Joy When Freed After 50 Years Of Abuse In Captivity

 

After being chained and abused for 50 years, an Indian elephant has finally been freed from his life of bondage.

 

Raju had been living on scraps and handouts from passersby after being captured by his abusive master. As a result, he was left bleeding and in serious pain from the spiked shackles around his legs.

Following fifty years of abuse, when he was rescued by a wildlife charity, the animal cried tears of relief. The operation took place in the middle of the night in order to avoid being caught. Raju was freed on Independence Day – the perfect day to be liberated.

article-2682388-1F6E1EA700000578-231_634

Wildlife SOS, the charity based in North London, are the heroes in this story, saving Raju from his tragic fate when they heard of his captivity in India.

Via Daily Mail:

 

Every day, the majestic animal was forced to hold out his trunk and beg for a few coins from passers-by – surviving only on plastic and paper for food.

 

However, last week, a 10-strong team of vets and wildlife experts from the charity were joined by 20 forestry department officers and six policemen to seize Raju from his suffering in the Uttar Pradesh area of India.

 

‘The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed.

 

‘Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.

 

‘Until we stepped in he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles – it’s a truly pitiful case.

 

‘But today he knows what freedom is and he will learn what kindness feels like and what it’s like to not suffer any more.’

 

The daring rescue came exactly a year to the day since the charity was alerted to Raju’s plight by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in India.

 

A confiscation process went through the courts as Raju’s owner did not have any legal documents for his possession meaning the charity could rescue him from suffering.

 

Although no one is certain how the beautiful animal got into the terrible predicament, Wildlife SOS believes he was snatched away from his mother when he was a baby.

The team who came to rescue Raju was led by Wildlife SOS founder Kartick Satyanarayan; they observed the elephant for two days before taking action.

 

“As we watched we quickly realised that we had to act as quickly as possible as his situation was so desperate and the cruelty so extreme so we decided to move the rescue forward by a day,” said Satyanarayan.

“The chains around his legs had spikes which were cutting into his flesh – and each time he moved puss would ooze out of wounds,” Satyanarayan continued. “Pain and brutality were all he knew.”

“His cruel handler even tore out the hair from his tail to sell as good luck charms. The exploitation and abuse just had to stop.”

 

When Raju’s owner sensed the impending rescue mission, he attempted to scare the elephant by shouting commands and provoking him to fear.

 

“It created an incredibly dangerous situation as a bull elephant could snap a human like a tooth pick if he becomes afraid or angry,” said Satyanarayan. “When that failed he then put a series of chains around his legs in an attempt to prevent us removing him – so viciously tight that were cutting into his legs.

“But we stood our ground and refused to back down – and as we did so, tears began to roll down Raju’s face. Some no doubt were due to the pain being inflicted by the chains, but he also seemed to sense that change was coming. It was as if he felt hope for the first time in a very long time.

“We knew it was now or never so we made the drastic decision to move his transportation truck closer and then walk him 200 yards. Every step would have been agony, but we had to take him, or he could have vanished forever. We decided we’d remove the shackles once we’d got him to safety.”

Incredibly, Raju calmly complied, despite every step causing searing agony.

“It was as if he knew we wanted to help him,” Mr. Satyanarayan said.

article-2682388-1F6E1E1400000578-270_634

Upon being loaded into the truck, Raju was sedated and driven 350 miles away to the charity’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura.

 

The five-and-a-half ton elephant stepped off the truck one minute after midnight on the 4th of July, “which felt so extraordinarily fitting,” said Mr. Satyanarayan.

“The other elephants in the sanctuary awoke from their sleep as we pulled in and came to have a look – it was an extraordinary moment.”

After feeding him a healthy meal of mango, bananas, bread, biscuits, and water, the Wildlife SOS vet, Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, began to remove the shackles. Forty-five minutes later, with the aid of two handlers, Raju was freed from his shackles.

article-2682388-1F6E1EBD00000578-369_634

“We all had tears in our eyes as the last rope which held the final spike was cut and Raju took his first steps of freedom,” said Satyanarayan. “The entire team were exhausted, but incredibly elated as he has suffered such unthinkable abuse and trauma for so, so long. He’d been beaten so badly, his spirit is broken.”

Raju was treated over the Fourth of July weekend with food, a bath, and emergency medical attention for his wounds.

article-2682388-1F6E1F4600000578-946_634“It will be a long rehabilitation process, but we will teach him that humans don’t mean pain and brutality, but it’s going to take time,” Mr Satyanarayan said.

“When he is ready he will initially join two companion elephants called Rajesh and Bhola, who once also suffered unthinkable cruelty,” Satyanarayan continued. “They’ve both been rehabilitated and once he settles he will learn how to live again by following their example, before he joins the rest of the elephants – including five flirtatious females to live out his days.

 

“But for the moment he’s tasting freedom for the first time in his life and he’ll spend the rest of his life in a safe compound living out his days in dignity, free from suffering and pain.”

In an effort to help Raju begin his liberated life with his adoptive family in a new enclosure, a charity has launched a campaign to raise £10,000.

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

http://www.westernjournalism.com/elephant-cries-freed-50-years-abuse-captivity/
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to The GayDivorcee & TomJH for the video and update.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

My first try posting a photo. Here goes...

 

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2484006/

 

Extraordinary photo. Little elephant standing up on his hind legs to look out the window and watch as the photographer, Julia Cumes, leaves:

 

07_prod-yourshot-320862-2484006.jpg

 

He was eventually integrated into a herd of other orphaned elephants and released back into the wild.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the photo, Calamity. It is a wonderful shot.

 

Here's a few more heart warmers:

 

39ddb0c4-fe84-45d0-b843-02617dc3f98d_zps

 

a79e9632-7828-4ab5-99be-cce254314957_zps

 

b4296784-6d21-494a-85c8-a0355fb2f3aa_zps

 

7274c2c5-3cb5-40e0-9d49-a44c6286e43c_zps

 

45c62abf-30ca-4c3d-aac5-f4f6f8c5ad57_zps

 

9e52972d-0be0-431a-bf5c-0791d83d10d2_zps

 

181105e5-d389-4a0c-99fa-70bbd7df09fa_zps

 

e53e33c4-3e22-4c9f-84cd-6b564a3eaac7_zps

 

vafcm.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to The GayDivorcee & TomJH for the video and update.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

My first try posting a photo. Here goes...

 

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2484006/

 

Extraordinary photo. Little elephant standing up on his hind legs to look out the window and watch as the photographer, Julia Cumes, leaves:

 

07_prod-yourshot-320862-2484006.jpg

 

He was eventually integrated into a herd of other orphaned elephants and released back into the wild.

Beautifully done!  

 

What a striking photo.  It almost looks like an illustration.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom et al:

 

Coincidence: Earlier this week I was listening to my favourite radio show (do people still listen to the radio? I do. at least if it's CBC) "Q". One of the interviews was with someone who'd just written a book about some psychological research on animals. The author was saying there's growing evidence to prove that animals' thoughts and emotions are much more complex than we'd previously believed.

But then, anyone who has a cat or a dog for a pet, or who's had contact with other animals, knows that.

 

Here's the interview. The link will take you to the main page. There's a little box that says "listen", click it, and you'll hear the interview. The very first thing mentioned is elephants ! Let me know what you think.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/07/15/zoo-animals-psychology-halberstadt/

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom et al:

 

Coincidence: Earlier this week I was listening to my favourite radio show (do people still listen to the radio? I do. at least if it's CBC) "Q". One of the interviews was with someone who'd just written a book about some psychological research on animals. The author was saying there's growing evidence to prove that animals' thoughts and emotions are much more complex than we'd previously believed.

But then, anyone who has a cat or a dog for a pet, or who's had contact with other animals, knows that.

 

Here's the interview. The link will take you to the main page. There's a little box that says "listen", click it, and you'll hear the interview. The very first thing mentioned is elephants ! Let me know what you think.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/07/15/zoo-animals-psychology-halberstadt/

Thanks so much for posting this, MissW.  This is a topic I've been interesting in for a very long time, and I found this really fascinating.  I'll also have a look at the New York Times magazine for his full article.  

 

By the way, I'm with you--I I love radio and listen often, to music, talk, news, raving madmen--sometimes I think I'd be more lost without radio than TV, aside from movies, of course.   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom et al:

 

Coincidence: Earlier this week I was listening to my favourite radio show (do people still listen to the radio? I do. at least if it's CBC) "Q". One of the interviews was with someone who'd just written a book about some psychological research on animals. The author was saying there's growing evidence to prove that animals' thoughts and emotions are much more complex than we'd previously believed.

But then, anyone who has a cat or a dog for a pet, or who's had contact with other animals, knows that.

 

Here's the interview. The link will take you to the main page. There's a little box that says "listen", click it, and you'll hear the interview. The very first thing mentioned is elephants ! Let me know what you think.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/07/15/zoo-animals-psychology-halberstadt/

Very interesting interview, MissW.

 

Most, if not all, pet owners must be a bit surprised that anyone could doubt that animals think and feel, yet it remains a subject of some controversy within the scientific community which seeks absolute proof.

 

It was particularly interesting to me that the cited cases of animals with behaviour (psychological to many) problems, various phobias and fears, appears to be exclusively the case of animals in captivity. That those same phobais and anxities are not seen by animals in the wild. Which, in turn, of course, brings up the complex issues of zoos, both pro and con.

 

Not discussed, however, were those other animals in captivity, our own household pets, which will be every bit as susceptible to emotional problems, too, particularly those unfortunate enough to be living in a stressful home environment.

 

To bring this topic back to the original subject of this thread, Raju the crying elephant, anyone watching a video of that animal with his head repeatedly bobbing up and down would have little doubt that this was a result of some kind of post traumatic stress that the elephant was experiencing after so many years of cruel treatment and emotional abandonment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is potentially wonderful news, particularly if it places pressure on the Indian government to re-examine its country's centuries old attitude towards animals:

 

Story Of Raju, The Elephant Who Cried, Being Made Into Film

abusch.png?w=56&h=76&crop=1
by Anita Busch
 
September 2, 2014 1:09pm
 
EXCLUSIVE: The heart-wrenching story of Raju the Elephant — the animal who had been kept in chains and abused for 50 years and cried when he was freed — is going to be made into a feature film. The rights have just been acquired by U.S.-based manager-producer Larry Brezner along with the father/son team of Vijay and Prakash Amritraj who will also be producing. Raju the Elephant is now in a sanctuary after a daring, middle-of-the-night rescue by a team at the Wildlife SOS Conservation and Care Center in India. His story went viral, capturing international attention.
 
raju-the-elephant-cried-after-being-rescThe deal for the rights comes as the previous handler of the elephant is now trying to sue to get the animal back at the same time the government is weighing animal cruelty charges against him. A court is ruling on whether the handler can get the animal back on Sept. 4th.

When Raju was emancipated from his chains during a dangerous midnight intervention by those at the sanctuary, p u s oozed from the abscessed wounds in his leg. The animal was starving and had sores all over its body. The handler had even plucked its tail raw to sell hairs as good luck charms. Raju was transferred to a new home last month where he is now able to walk free, eat decent food, receive medical care, lounge in his favorite pool and mix with other elephants — none of which was provided to him during his 50 years of life in clawed shackles that dug into his skin.

In fact, the abuse was so severe, that he resorted to eating plastic and paper to fill his stomach and his bony body was a shocking sight. Brezner went to great lengths to get the rights for the film. He contacted Vijay Amritraj who was on his way to India to help acquire rights. a9qk4-rcmaacshj-large.jpg?w=395&h=593Brezner, a producer on the sequel to the box office hit Ride Along, said: “Fearing the elephant was going to die, the rescue happened on Independence Day on July 4. Through the strategic planning of the Wildlife SOS in the U.S. and the Indian Wildlife SOS it was decided, due to his failing health, this mission had to take place immediately to save his life.”

The story will center on heroes Kartrick Satyanarayan (head of the SOS Center in India) and Nikki Sharp (head of the Wildlife SOS Foundation). What great role for an Indian actor and a female lead as this story is surely to be embraced internationally.

When he was freed, Raju became known as the Elephant Who Cried. An emotional story which harkens to such films as Born Free, Sounder, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Free Willy and War Horse, to name a few, this is sure to enter the pantheon of heartwarming, real-life films to come out of Hollywood.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...