Save Elephant from Forced Return to Captivity


Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Goal: Prevent 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]

Photo credit: Vinoth Chandar via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. This beautiful gentle Elephant deserves compassion and the right to be free from the shackles of slavery and abuse.
    Why would the Indian Government support returning anyone to such abuse. Let Raju be safe, and continue to live in a place that affords him the respect he so deserves.
    Since when should society award abusers? Never….. Please Prime Minister show respect and compassion towards Raju do not force him to be returned to an abusive place.
    Raju has suffered at the hands of man for 50 years do not let him be forced to endure another day of suffering. He has suffered more than I could ever imagine. I am in tears of sadness right now after reading his short harsh story. Just the though that he may loose his chance for some happiness and be forced to endure further suffering is just heartbreaking.
    Please let him be free!

  2. Marilyn Nickel says:

    This would be a cruel decision! This elephant is so happy to be free of the chains that bound him to a terrible life of neglect and starvation.
    please let him live out his days with his friends and the freedom of the santuary.Have you seen the pictures of thus boy enjoying his chain free freedom? You iwe it to yourself to witness the joy….

  3. Judith Cavey says:

    PLEASE ensure Raju is kept in his sanctuary home where he is happy, enjoying the company of other elephants, bathing in his pool and receiving healthcare and good food. NO GOING BACK for this dear elephant.

  4. If Raju goes back to this monster he would be better off dead. He has tasted freedom. Please don’t send him back to hell.

  5. seria inhumano y atroz liberarlo para ahora devolverlo a su infierno y agonia en vida. dejenlo en el santuario en paz

  6. The Great Gandhi would be rolling in his grave he said a country is measured by its compassion and love to its animals, do not let it happen that this gentle giant gets sent back to its cruel owners this would be a travesty of the worst kind please do not let it happen.

  7. Virginia Greenwood-Warner says:

    Let’s chain and torture Raju’s previous owner – he needs to be severely punished! Meantime leave Raju in peace – he deserves this bit of heaven he is in now.

  8. Please do not give Raju back to it’s previous owner NO ONE should own a wild animal They should all remain wild and free!!!!

  9. Thats such good news but what will happen to the Dolphines already in captivity,will they be set free into the wild or will they be left to languish in concrete tanks with nothing to do, they need to beable to interact with people or they will get sick and maybe die, setting them free would be good if they could servive in the wild, I hope that is pssible.

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