Abused elephant cries after being saved

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For 50 years, Raju the elephant suffered all sorts of abuse.

After being poached from the wild as a baby, the elephant was forced to beg in Allahabad by its drug addict owner.

It was kept with a chain of spikes around its ankle, which left it with arthritis and in chronic pain. Starved and beaten, it fed on paper and plastic to stay alive.

That torture finally ended last week when it was rescued by activists from Wildlife SOS.

Ten people from the London-based charity joined 20 forestry department officers and six policemen in a midnight rescue operation in Uttar Pradesh, India, reported Mail Online.

The rescue came after the court ruled that the elephant should be removed from its abusive owner, reported NineMSN.

Huffington Post reported executive director of Wildlife SOS-USA Nikki Sharp as saying: "The vet and our team came with fruits and just started speaking softly to him and to reassure him that we were there to help, and it was at that time that tears flooded down his face."

"It was an emotional moment and everyone was more motivated to get him on the truck and to safety," she said.

The rescue effort met with resistance from the owner, who had added more chains to the elephant's legs and arranged for people to block the roads, reported The Independent.​

Raju was eventually taken to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura, reported Mirror.

Sources: The Independent, Mirror, Mail Online, Huffington Post, NineMSN