The elephant who cried tears when he was released after being held in chains, beaten and abused for fifty years has begun his new life with his adoptive family.
Raju the elephant was introduced to Phoolkali, the first member of his new friends after being released on July 4 in a midnight mission by charity Wildlife SOS.
The five-and-a-half tonne animal was freed from his spiked shackles and driven 350 miles away to the safety of the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, northern India, which he now calls home.
Raju’s female friend Phoolkali is also a rescued elephant and was saved two years ago after she was found starving in a deserted windowless warehouse.
Now fit and healthy, Phoolkali insisted on sharing her evening snack with Raju upon his arrival. And Raju happily feasted on mangoes, jackfruit, bananas and biscuits.
However, Wildlife SOS vet Dr Yadu, who is caring for Raju in his new home, said the elephant has ‘lost his faith in humanity’.
Staff are currently treating Raju’s leg wounds, caused by five decades in spiked shackles.
On Monday incredible pictures emerged showing the moment Raju was released to freedom.
The elephant was living on hand-outs from passing tourists after he was captured and tied up by his ‘owner’.
But, after 50 years of torture, the animal cried tears of relief after he was rescued by a wildlife charity in a daring midnight operation – fittingly on American Independence Day.