Animal cruelty. There's not much worse in my eyes. They are innocent. They can only defend themselves in a way that humans only regard as aggressive and violent. They cannot speak. They cannot reason. But, they sure can show their appreciation. In this case, Raju cried tears of grateful joy. According to Wildlife SOS - India Raju the elephant has spent nearly 50 years in tortured captivity, being passed from barbaric owner to barbaric owner. Now, I have trouble fathoming the logic behind subjecting an innocent animal to spiked leg chains, starvation, and other despicable abuse in a country that actually worships an elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesh. If you'd like to read more about that part of Hinduism, click the link. People ask (aka pay for) for "blessings" from an animal that is clearly being abused by it's owner.

For the daring rescue by the brave volunteers watch this video (make sure there are tissues in hand).

And, just in care you wanted to know, a "mahout" is the caretaker of an elephant. They are actually "universal" in the sense that they are across Asia. Basically, anywhere there was elephants, there were bound to be mahouts. BUT, my point is simply this, mahouts and elephants were originally supposed to bond for life. Bond. That means mutually care and love and protect each other. As for Raju the elephants "mahout": you are a disgrace to the tradition, and as it is, a poor excuse for a human being. As we say here in Texas, there's a special place waiting for animal abusers in the end.

Raju resting in a place that he can finally call home, and be surrounded by people and other elephants who love and care for him.

credit: wildlife sos