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

Badaun suicide

Indian investigators say two sisters found hanging from a tree were not murdered or gang raped

HINDUSTAN TIMES The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has concluded after a five-month probe that the two teenaged Badaun cousins had committed suicide, putting to…
Continue Reading »

domestic violence South Asian Surrey

Alex Sangha: Five step plan to curb domestic violence in the South Asian community

ALEX SANGHA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI There have been a number of high profile murders in the South Asian community in Surrey over the years. …
Continue Reading »

Surrey crash-desi

Surrey crash victim’s son says deporting parolee would ‘send a message’

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A Surrey man who killed an elderly man when he smashed his brother’s Corvette into a Surrey bus shelter…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

domestic violence South Asian Surrey

Alex Sangha: Five step plan to curb domestic violence in the South Asian community

ALEX SANGHA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI There have been a number of high profile murders in the South Asian community in Surrey over the years. …
Continue Reading »

Surrey crash-desi

Surrey crash victim’s son says deporting parolee would ‘send a message’

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A Surrey man who killed an elderly man when he smashed his brother’s Corvette into a Surrey bus shelter…
Continue Reading »

Islamophobia

Stereotyping is alive and well when it comes to Muslim and Sikh religious symbols in Canada

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI One-third of British Columbians believe radicalized people live among us, according to a poll commissioned by The Province. The survey of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

suffer in silence

Help for Victims of Sexual Abuse

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The reasons for not reporting incidents of sexual abuse or harassment are many and varied. Recently, we have addressed some of…
Continue Reading »

wild pets

Two “snake catchers” arrested in India for illegally keeping venomous pets

VANCOUVER DESI Two men in Southern India who are known as local “snake catchers” have been arrested and thrown in jail for illegally keeping venomous…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi crime

Vancouver pimp who ran teen prostitution ring won’t be sentenced until next September

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI The sentencing of convicted human trafficker and pimp Reza Moazami has been delayed nearly 10 months. In September, following a year-long…
Continue Reading »

Sitara Devi

Kathak star Sitara Devi dies after prolonged illness

IANS Mumbai – Eminent danseuse Sitara Devi, who once impressed Rabindranath Tagore with a three-hour solo recital, died here Tuesday after prolonged illness, leaving behind…
Continue Reading »

monkey main

Killer monkeys invade India after government issues wildlife preservation to protect wild apes

CEN AGENCY A ban on capturing monkeys in India has led to an explosion of ape attacks – some which are deadly – across the…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

sex video-Pakistan-Bollywood

Bollywood actress Veena Malik and her husband sentenced to 26 years in jail for blasphemy

IANS Dubai – Controversial Bollywood actress Veena Malik has expressed “shock” at a Pakistan court sentencing her and her husband, among others, to 26 years…
Continue Reading »

Desi sex

Bollywood’s Emraan Hashmi says he never refused to work with Canadian pornstar Sunny Leone (w/gallery)

IANS Mumbai – Emraan Hashmi denies that he refused to work with adult film star Sunny Leone for a special song in “Ungli”. In fact,…
Continue Reading »

Barbie Handa-Priyanka Chopra-desi boobs-nude

Priyanka Chopra: Mannara has lived up to her role in ‘Zid’

IANS Mumbai – Actress Priyanka Chopra is all praise for her cousin Mannara’s debut Bollywood performance in “Zid” and says she has perfectly lived up…
Continue Reading »