This heartbreaking story is about as elephant Raju from India that had an incredibly rough life. After being poached from his mother he was thrown from one owner to another, until he was left living in terrible conditions with no shelter at night, being used as a beggars prop all day long. Raju survived only from passing tourists and sometimes had to eat plastic and paper while being chained 24 hours a day. A wildlife organisation SOS-UK could not stand the injustice and decided to save him in a daring midnight rescue operation.
The elephant, realizing he was being saved, started to cry: “It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed” – claims Pooja Binepal, one of the rescuers in an interview with Presspeople. “Tears began to roll down Raju’s face. Some no doubt were due to the pain but he also seemed to sense that change was coming. He felt hope for the first time” – says another rescuer Kartick.
Elephants have a very large hippocampus, a brain structure linked to emotion which is much bigger than that of any human. While we are not 100% certain, scientific research supports the view that elephants weep as part of an emotional response.