Target: Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India, Shri Akhilesh Yadav
Goal: Prevent Raju the crying elephant from being returned to his cruel former owner
Raju, a captive elephant who cried upon being released from a lifetime in cruel conditions, could be forced back into the captivity that nearly killed him. The person who kept Raju in chains for 50 years is appealing to the courts to have the gentle elephant returned to him. The courts will soon decide whether Raju will remain with the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, India, or be put back into a life of abuse and neglect.
In July of 2014, animal rights activists fought for the freedom of Raju, an elephant who was kept in spiked chains and forced to perform and beg on the street for his owner. With the support of ForceChange members, Wildlife SOS was able to free Raju from these horrific conditions. Exhausted, dehydrated and frail from malnutrition, the elephant wept as he was given fresh fruit and released from the chains he had lived in for five decades.
Now, the owner who put Raju through a life of abuse is asking the courts to once again give him ownership over the elephant who touched so many with his story. This person’s custody over Raju was illegal under Indian law, and he should be punished rather than allowed to continue his cruelty.
By signing the petition below, you will add your voice to international pleas for the court of Allahabad, India to keep Raju the crying elephant under the protection of Wildlife SOS and away from the person who nearly killed him after 50 years of forced servitude.
Dear Chief Minister Shri Akhilesh Yadav,
For 50 years, one of your citizens illegally kept the elephant Raju in spiked chains to perform and beg for him without proper care. Not three months ago, the government of Uttar Pradesh allowed Raju to be freed into the care of the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura. I thank you for your role in saving this elephant from further cruelty.
Unfortunately, the same person who ignored the laws of your government so that he could exploit Raju for profit is attempting to regain custody by appealing to the courts of Allahabad. I implore you to continue to enforce your laws by urging the courts to reject this appeal and keep Raju safe from further abuse at the hands of his former owner.
Furthermore, I ask you to ensure that this person is appropriately punished for violating the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 by illegally keeping Raju in chains, exploiting him, and neglecting him almost to the point of death. Behavior like this requires swift punishment to discourage additional persons from committing the same crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikimedia Commons