You simply cannot be unmoved by the rescue of Raju who, after being imprisoned for 50 years, cried tears of joy when he was rescued and released into an elephany sancuary. Here is the moving story:
Under the cover of darkness, a team from London-based Wildlife S.O.S rescued an elephant that had been abused for 50 years in India and transported it 350 miles to an elephant sanctuary where it walked free for the first time on July 4th.
Raju, believed to have been poached from his mother as a baby, was beaten and left bleeding from painful spiked leg shackles by an abusive owner who had the elephant beg for handouts and survive by eating plastic and paper for food.
The owner also tore out hair from Raju’s tail to sell as good luck charms, Wildlife S.O.S. founder Kartick Satyanarayan told the U.K. MailOnline.
A year after learning of Raju’s plight, Wildlife S.O.S. last week led a team of 10 veterinarians and wildlife officials, 20 forestry department officers and six policemen, and seized the abused elephant from the Uttar Pradesh area of India, after receiving a court order.
“The team [was] astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,” Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife S.O.S., told the MailOnline. “It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.
“Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.
“Until we stepped in he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles–it’s a truly pitiful case. But today he knows what freedom is and he will learn what kindness feels like and what it’s like to not suffer any more.”
Since his arrival, Raju has received medical attention, been given proper baths and food, and is well along in the rehabilitation process. Wildlife S.O.S. has launched a campaign to raise $17,000 to help Raju begin his new life in a new enclosure, which will allow him to roam free with other elephants.
Satyanarayan said Raju is “tasting freedom for the first time in his life, and he’ll spend the rest of his life in a safe compound living out his days in dignity, free from suffering and pain.”
For us dog lovers, this story is familiar - the degree to which a family dog will go to protect. In this case, a three year old boy named Carson wandered off and got lost, but because of Cooper, a rescue mutt, he was protected from the cold until he was found.
Carson Urness disappeared from his family's 10-plus acre property in Cooperstown, North Dakota, around 7:30 p.m. Monday after being let out to play while his mom worked inside the home, the boy's father told ABC News. "She checked on him again at 7:30 and he was gone," Carson's father, Brock Urness, said of his wife, Courtney, who was inside taking care of the couple's 11-month-old daughter while Carson played. "She looked around frantically for about 30 minutes and then called me," Urness said. "And I said, 'Well, where's Cooper?' and she said, 'Cooper is not here either.'"
Cooper is the family's dog - a German Shepherd, Labrador and Golden Retriever "mutt," as Urness calls him - that the family adopted three years ago after he was left on the side of the road near a relative's home. The Urnesses searched for Carson until 8:30 p.m. when they called 911. Less than 30 minutes later, the local police and fire departments had launched an aerial and ground search for Carson, aided by 200 neighbors, family and friends from Cooperstown, population about 800.
"They had an airplane here searching for him and 60 four-wheelers and people looking on foot and didn't find anything," Urness said. Just before officials planned to call off the search for the night, around 2:30 a.m., officials decided to send out one last four-wheeler for a final sweep of the property. "That four-wheeler found him about a mile away from our house, in the middle of one of our fields by a pasture," Urness said. "Carson was in tall grass but when they shone lights down to sweep it, the dog stuck its head out."
Carson was found safely underneath Cooper, who was laying on the boy, presumably to protect him from the 40-degree temperatures that night. Both Cooper and Carson were uninjured, save for Carson's cold feet, which were the only body part of his that Cooper did not cover.
"Carson told his mom that Cooper stayed on top of him and kept him safe and warm," Urness said. "He told her that he was a little scared when it got dark because he doesn't like the dark.
Fact: dogs are walking, barking, balls of fur that embody everlasting happiness and unconditional love. Another fact: these same creatures turn into metaphorical pits of gloom and sorrow – with matching puppy dog eyes – as they endure the torturous ritual called, ‘bath time’.
New York-based French photographer Sophie Gamand captured the poor but hilarious faces of our furry friends during mid-bath, in series called ‘Wet Dog’. She took photos of more than a dozen dogs getting a good grooming at pet stylist Ruben Santana’s Bronx studio. The portraits were taken half a second, just before they do their trademark shake, capturing the raw emotions of a dog having a bad day. ‘The expressions were priceless and really entertaining’, Gamand told Today. ‘It was magic’. The series went on to win the Portraiture category at the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, and is set to be released as a book in the Fall of 2015.