Vancouver PR firm joins campaign to keep India’s ‘crying elephant’ away from abusive owner (w/ gallery)

Published: September 2, 2014


Picture 1 of 19

Raju is pictured here shackled and emaciated before his rescue. Submitted photo.

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

A Vancouver-based public relations firm has joined an international campaign to keep an Indian elephant safe from an owner who kept it chained and severely abused it for nearly 50 years.

The previous owner of Raju — also known as the “crying elephant” as he was said to have shed “tears of joy” when he was finally rescued from decades of abuse and labour — has filed court papers in an attempt to get the animal back, according to Wildlife SOS, the agency that rescued the elephant in July.

Raju’s case goes before an Indian court Sept. 11, so Wildlife SOS is trying to collect 100,000 signatures in support of the elephant’s freedom.

Ruth Atherley of Vancouver’s AHA Creative Strategies Inc., who’s offered her services free of charge to help spread the word about the petition, initially heard of Raju’s heartbreaking story when his rescue made national headlines over the summer.

“He had tears when he was rescued and now he’s got this great life and there’s a chance that he could be given back to this,” Atherley said after hearing of the impending court case.

“I’m not letting this elephant go back to a life of torture … (he) has gone through enough.”

“People need to know that he’s at risk again.”

Atherley contacted Wildlife SOS to offer her services and has since been reaching out to friends, family, local and national media about the cause.

“Everybody should take a moment and step in when they can, and social media makes (the world) a much bigger place but a much smaller place,” she said. “In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a dog get abused in the elevator, we’ve seen what ALS can do on social media.”

“Everybody has a voice now — we might as a PR agency have a little stronger voice.”

According to Nikki Sharp with Wildlife SOS, the campaign for signatures is a way to show the Indian courts and government that “the world is watching.”

“It’s not as much about getting signatures as making sure that the authorities are aware that the world is watching this case and it would be a huge blight on the system and on the country to make a judgment that Raju goes back to this man,” said Sharp. “Him going back to this guy would be a death sentence to Raju.”

“He came to us barely alive … he was skeletal, he was emaciated, he was dehydrated, he had hundreds of wounds throughout his body.

“We were worried that he was going to die before we had a chance to rescue him.”

Raju has been kept safe and cared for at a Wildlife SOS conservation centre in India since July 4 and according to Sharp he’s gained 200 pounds, but “he’s still way underweight.”

To help keep Raju safe, visit wildlifesos.org where you can sign the petition, donate to the elephant legal fund, or email a letter in support of Raju to the Indian government.

IFRAME Embed for Youtube

Related stories:

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Tearful farewell as woman who faces death for adultery charges in Pakistan deported from Saskatoon

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX As Jamila Bibi embraced her ally and friend Sahana Yeasmin, she was whisked away at the Saskatoon airport by two Canadian…
Continue Reading »

desi gangster murder

Suspect in gangster Sandip Dhure shooting claims Charter rights violated when police seized firearms from apartments

KEITH FRASER, VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver man who was a suspect in a high-profile gang-related shooting, and his co-accused, are claiming their rights were violated…
Continue Reading »

basketball

World basketball body eases headgear ban after religious discrimination claims

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MIES, Switzerland — Basketball’s governing body has relaxed rules banning players wearing headgear after criticism it discriminated on religious grounds. FIBA says…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Tearful farewell as woman who faces death for adultery charges in Pakistan deported from Saskatoon

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX As Jamila Bibi embraced her ally and friend Sahana Yeasmin, she was whisked away at the Saskatoon airport by two Canadian…
Continue Reading »

desi gangster murder

Suspect in gangster Sandip Dhure shooting claims Charter rights violated when police seized firearms from apartments

KEITH FRASER, VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver man who was a suspect in a high-profile gang-related shooting, and his co-accused, are claiming their rights were violated…
Continue Reading »

Surrey

Doug McCallum says no overseas Surrey council travel if he’s elected mayor

Linda Hepner says that’s a bad idea TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Doug McCallum says if he’s elected mayor of Surrey in November city…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Scroll Invitation

Wedding invitations – the Do’s

KIM TREHAN VANCOUVER DESI You are cordially invited…. We request the honor of your presence… Please join us… It is so difficult to decide on…
Continue Reading »

CEN_MonkeyGod_01.jpg

ID card obtained in the name of India’s monkey god exposes corrupt system

CEN AGENCY An Indian computer programmer has managed to get an official identity card in the name of India’s monkey god after bribing corrupt officials….
Continue Reading »

girl child

Upset over having two daughters and no son, man bobbitises himself

IANS Patna – A man in Bihar has bobbitised himself, sniping off his penis with a sharp knife in a fit of rage after a…
Continue Reading »

heptathlete India

Indian athlete with six toes on each foot attempts to overcome deformity to medal at Asian Games

C. RAJSHEKHAR RAO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – Merely wearing shoes is painful for Swapna Barman. She was born with six toes on each…
Continue Reading »

striking teachers

Kids attending Surrey farm school likely helping to feed some striking teachers (w/video)

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI Instead of pencils and books, kids took up carrots and cucumbers Thursday at “farm school.” As the teachers’ strike stretches on,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Deepika Padukone: I have breasts, you got a problem?

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has caused a social media storm over her ‘cleavage show’ story in a leading Indian news outlet. Padukone slammed…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Canadian actor Vinay Virmani’s Dr. Cabbie continues his examination of South Asian immigrant experience

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Toronto-born actor and writer Vinay Virmani is excited about his latest film, Dr. Cabbie, set to release in Canada on September…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty says ‘I am a big solitaire fan’

IANS New Delhi – Bollywood actress-producer and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty says she can’t step out without a piece of jewellery or accessory, especially a solitaire….
Continue Reading »