After what must have felt like an eternity of torment, Raju had no doubt forgotten what it was like to walk without metal spikes digging into his ankles. The shock of having these chains removed, then, was probably like a bolt from the blue, and this poor creature’s reaction showed more humanity than his abusers ever did.
As with many rescued elephants, much of Raju’s past is a mystery. Supposedly, the majestic creature began life as a free soul. But at a very young age he was apparently taken from his family and turned into, essentially, a slave for the tourism industry.