This Temple Elephant Was Escorted by Locals to Freedom

He totally deserves it too: He’s over 60 years old!

A temple elephant named Gajraj is finally being rescued. In Satara, India, temple elephants are stolen from the wild as babies, then beaten and taught to perform. Gajraj was sentenced to this sort of life for 52 years. Now, an entire village is escorting him to safety.

Temple Elephant Escorted by Locals to Freedom | The Dodo

This poor elephant was chained every day and had his tusks cut off. More than likely, they were sold (which is even sadder, because the ivory trade needs to end). But the good news is, he’s finally being freed from this sad existence. He’s over 60 years old and certainly deserves it! After people fought hard for his release, a team drove through the night to get him. Over 80 police officers came to escort him to a huge truck, all because some villagers were throwing rocks at the rescuers. Sick, right?

Thankfully, they were able to get Gajraj on board safely and to his new home. Thanks to Wildlife SOS, Gajraj can live the rest of his life in a lovely animal sanctuary.  Now, he’s finally able to play, eat all the fruit he wants, and take cooling dirt baths. No chains attached.

What you can do:

If Gajraj’s story touched your heart, please consider making a donation to Wildlife SOS. This will help Gajraj stay healthy and happy, along with helping other animals. You can give anything from $25 to $500. It could be a one time donation or a monthly donation. So, if you truly love animals, please consider supporting this nonprofit. There are so many more elephants like Gajraj who need help! PETA also supports ongoing efforts to free other captive elephants (like Gajraj). Please consider supporting them as well with a small donation. If donations are not applicable at this time, please share this article to spread awareness!

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