Don’t Send Freed Elephant Back to Abusive Owner

Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Goal: Save freed elephant from returning to his abusive former owner

Raju the elephant wept after activists removed the chains that had been wrapped around his legs for the past 50 years. They transported Raju to Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Center where he has been living with five female elephants for the last two months. Claiming that Raju is his property, the abusive former owner has launched a legal battle to repossess the liberated elephant. The Indian government must show compassion and never allow Raju to be placed in chains again.

Raju had been a calf in the wild when poachers captured him decades ago. After shackling his legs, Raju’s owners beat him until he learned to submit to them. Each time he was sold to a new master, they would beat Raju to break his spirit and exert their dominance over him. Malnourished and with no shelter at night, Raju began eating discarded paper and plastic in order to survive.

In July, 10 wildlife experts from Wildlife SOS along with 20 Forest Department and Police officers rescued Raju from captivity. They transported him to a safe environment where he is learning to socialize with other elephants again. Suffering from a serious limp and open wounds, Raju also bears psychological wounds after 50 years of mistreatment. Hesitant to socialize at first, Raju arrived at the conservation greeted by the other elephants gently touching him with their trunks.

By signing the petition below, you will urge the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to protect Raju and prevent him from being returned to an owner who abused and neglected him.


Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

You cannot allow the Indian government to force Raju the elephant back into the captivity of an owner who commits animal cruelty. It took his rescuers 45 minutes to free Raju from the chains that were biting into his flesh. After the shackles that had held him prisoner for 50 years had been removed, Raju wept with joy.

At Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Center, Raju is healing from his wounds and learning to socialize with other elephants again. If your government forces him back into the arms of his abusive owner, you will be sending a message to other owners endorsing cruelty to animals. Instead of considering the former owner’s claims, you should charge him with animal cruelty and neglect. Your government has the power to allow Raju to live out his days in peace or shackled in chains. What will you choose?


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Just in case you didn’t know…. even though elephants may be BIG, they have feelings and emotions just like people. Please, don’t return this beautiful elephant to this unruly barbaric horrible monster. This lovely elephant doesn’t deserve this horrible treatment.

  2. Rather than inflict any more pain and misery on Raju, the Indian courts should turn the tables and prosecute the ‘owner’ for animal cruelty and neglect. We share this planet and as the more intelligent species (although I sometimes wonder about that), we should protect and care for, not abuse and destroy the animals, birds, and other mammals who live here with us.

  3. Raju has already suffered for 50 long years, at least now he must be saved from further cruelty. I implore someone to save this poor elephant and take him to some elephant sanctuary where at least his remaining life can be safe. We owe this much to the poor soul that has already suffered for so so long. Please, please help Raju.

  4. Susmita Sheel says:

    My first question how its said to be FREE when again returned to the same owner ?
    My second question how any person can his/her possession over any wild helpless animal ?
    Are these animals made to serve us at any cost,through any pain n trauma ? Have we got any rights over these animals by God ? God has created us to share his creation ( Earth) by every other creature peacefully.
    SHAMEFUL to be called humans .
    Pathetic .

  5. I’m so sad that there are humans who are so ignorant. They don’t know what they do. How are we going to educate these people and expand their understanding and consciousness?

  6. Roxanne creshine says:

    This is sad please don’t send him back let him be free that’s what he is supposed to be!!

  7. To the Indian Government, do not allow this elephant to be put in chains again, if you give this so called man this elephant back you will have to handle the back lash from all animals lovers especially all elephant lovers.


  8. Pl don’t send the poor animal back to his cruel owner.he will also suffer in the same manner for the rest of his life.the poor animal has suffered he deserves a good like

  9. Betty Papp says:

    Please do not send this elephant back to the ones that abused him. Imagine yourself being chained and abused for 50 yrs. Finally finding some happiness and peace you deserve, then being returned to the hell you came from.
    Please do the decent thing and let this elephant live out his life knowing kindness and compassion. Do the humane thing and let the people of your country know they can look up to you with respect for not sending him back. What you should do is charge his previous owners with animal abuse, that would be the best thng to do. Make them pay a fine for the abuse and they might never abuse another innocent animal.

  10. Marynorine Vandergrift says:

    Please do not give this Elephant back to a life of more pain and suffering. 50 years is 50 years to long. Freedom for Rahj.

  11. As I was reading the story about the abuse this elephant through tears were running down my face.

    How people can be so cruel. I hope his remaining days will be happy ones for him.

  12. WiZaRd Of The Wolf Nation says:

    The abusive owner ought to be executed
    for his crimes against Nature!!

  13. Wizard of Oz says:

    Raju was rescued in July of 2014. His former owners filed suit in September to get him back. In December the court ruled they could not prove ownership, so they couldn’t have him back. The April 20, 2015, article from the Independent that I read says that Wildlife SOS is working on saving 67 elephants in Indian circuses. If you want to help them out with Raju and the other elephants, find them at

  14. Lynette Ross says:

    I had tears when l read this sad sad story but its all very well to say that the owner shd be put in chains n hv to eat plastic. . Hv u been 2 india? Maybe ur understand if u hv, as its this abusive owners only iincome. Its not a matter of abusing this terrible owner (?), but doing something about it, these animals wld be up there with incredible their intelligence n really shd be helped l, trouble Iis, we r doing the best we can.

  15. Marsha Squibb says:

    PLEASE,please do not send this poor boy back to a horrible life.He has put in 50 long years of captivity with a cruel owner.He deserves freedom…he has always deserved freedom.Please do the right thing for his happiness…..FREEDOM!

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