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

GANGS-BC-SURREY-AUSTRALIA

Australian co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak sentenced to 3 years in prison

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Social justice found online voice in 2014: Experts say

By Michelle McQuigge THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Celebrity watchers and armchair coaches may have produced the most social media chatter over the past 12…
Continue Reading »

GANGS-BC-SURREY-AUSTRALIA

Australian co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak sentenced to 3 years in prison

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Vagina Monologues

Sex workers from India’s largest red light area seek American feminist Eve Ensler’s help

IANS Kolkata – American activist and playwright Eve Ensler Friday met sex workers in Kolkata’s Sonagachi, one of Asia’s largest red light areas, who sought…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood jodis-ex lovers

Bollywood’s ex-flames Shahid Kapoor, Kareena to work together in ‘Udta Punjab’?

IANS Mumbai – Actor Shahid Kapoor, who once dated actress Kareena Kapoor, has said that he has never refused to work with the latter and…
Continue Reading »