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Raju to Remain Free!

RajuWhen Raju was rescued in July, 2014, his story caught fire and was covered by major news outlets around the world. After 50 years of brutality, and as many as 27 "owners", Raju was finally free. 

But then, just a few short months later, the man from whom we had taken Raju, Mr. Shahid, filed court papers in an attempt to get him back. We were determined to never let that happen. The public agreed, and hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition requesting that he stay safe with us at Wildlife SOS.

Now, we are thrilled to report that Raju will remain free! After multiple postponements, Raju's case was finally heard earlier this week, and the judge ruled in our favor. Read more »

Rescuing India's 67 Remaining Circus Elephants

circus elephant shackledPRESS RELEASE

After eradicating the brutal, centuries-old practice of dancing bears in India, Wildlife SOS is now ready to take the first steps toward rescuing all of the remaining 67 circus elephants in India, in partnership with the Government. 

In the first phase of this campaign, Wildlife SOS plans to facilitate the rescue of 17 elephants.  Read more »

Meet Ashish

Ashish Batura has been a dedicated and invaluable member of the Wildlife SOS team since 2008.  Recently, he relocated to Haryana where he has become the Coordinating Officer for the Elephant Rehabilitation Center.  We recently sat down with him to find out more about his personal experiences working for Wildlife SOS and his work with the elephants.

What is the best part of your job?

Ashish:  I love being in nature.  So much of what I have learned here I could never learn from books.  Everyday, there is something new to learn and I feel proud of what I am doing to help.

What have you learned about elephants since taking on this position? Read more »

Newest Member Of The Wildlife SOS Family, Lilly!

By Roohi Sahay

Following the iconic midnight rescue operation of ‘Raju’ Elephant, carried out by Delhi based NGO - Wildlife SOS, it was now Lilly’s turn for freedom, a 35 years old female elephant who was freed from her shackles by a team from Wildlife SOS and the Haryana Forest Department. Read more »

Raju Learns New Skills

Tell us who you are and how you started working with Wildlife SOS? My name is Steve Koyle and I’m the Senior Elephant Keeper at the Phoenix Zoo.  I’ve been working with elephants for almost 13 years.  I had the honor of meeting Kartick and Geeta three years ago at an elephant conference in Oakland, CA.  I became inspired by the work of Wildlife SOS and soon after traveled to India to volunteer with Wildlife SOS. Read more »

Raju's Court Case Postponed Yet Again

Raju's case was not listed today at Allahabad High Court but is now likely to be heard on the 3rd of November. We understand that you might be frustrated with the delays but we request you to kindly understand that there isn't anything we can do to control this. Our lawyers are confident and ready for the case whenever it is finally heard! 

Fall Footprint Auction is Now Live

A 3 day auction will run through October 24 to raise money to help wildlife.  You can participate by bidding on auction items or purchasing a raffle item.  Check out the auction site at


Confessions of a Humane Educator

By Richie Chiger 

More Delays in Raju's Court Case

We just wanted to share with you that Raju's court case has now been delayed until October 27.  There isn't any stated reason for the delay.  We will be ready when the case is finally heard.  Thank you for your support.

Raju's Life After Rescue

For Raju, a new life of freedom began after 50 years of cruelty, when he was rescued by Wildlife SOS and brought to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Initially shy and weak, it took him a few weeks to familiarize himself with the surroundings and realize that he could roam around free without spiked anklets around his legs.

  Read more »

Helping Lilly

WE just got word that there is an elephant by the name of Lilly that needs our help .  She has been confiscated by the forest department.  We don't know a lot about her right now.  We do know that she is about 35 years old and she has been exploited as a begging elephant.  The person who had illegal posession of her has apparently confessed to illegally keeping her and he is now in jail  We are grateful to the forest department for their work in enforcing the Elephant Welfare Law.   We are currently raising the funds necessary to shift her to our facility and begin her rehab process.  More information on Lilly is soon to follow.

Your Pet Can Help Elephants

September 8th thru September 14th Wildlife SOS is working with Whimsical Pet Portraits to raise money to help more elephants as part of our Raju Rescue Fund. You can even have their portrait turned into note cards!

  Read more »


1.)  I don't understand, I thought Wildlife SOS had legal custody of Raju.  How can Mr. Shahid make claims to get him back? Read more »

Raju needs your voice

Raju has suffered 50 years of unimagineable cruelty. Two months ago, the world worked together to set him free. But it turns out his awful past is not fully behind him. The cruel person who denied him even the most basic comforts has just filed papers in court to get him back. Be his voice and stand up for his freedom!

We will post an FAQ soon of what is happening to help you understand the situation better.

What you can do now: Read more »

Wildlife SOS Presents ''Ganpati to Gajah'' in association with Alpana Ahuja and Art Spice Gallery at the Metropolitan Hotel & Spa

by- Suvidha Bhatnagar

Wildlife SOS in alliance with Art Spice at The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa collaborated with Singapore-based artist Alpana Ahuja to host a month long exhibition titled 'Ganpati to Gajah' at Art Spice. Read more »

Raju is making friends and having fun

Raju was rescued a little over one month ago.  After 50 years in chains, he is now learning the joys of being free and is getting the love and care he deserves.  Here is a photo journal of some of these highlights.

One of the first things Raju needed was veterinary care to the wounds that covered his body.  The wounds on his body were from chains and other torture tools that were used to keep him scared and tame.  Many of these wounds had never been allowed to heal and had become chronic.  We suspect some of the wounds he had had for several years. Read more »

Raju t-shirts are now available

Following the rescue of Raju, there was a high demand for Raju t-shirts.  We took in the recommendations and requests by our supporters and we are now offering several Raju t-shirt designs.  If you are interested in helping Raju, then purchase a t-shirt today.  Wildlife SOS receives a percentage of the proceeds for every item purchased. Most of these designs can be shipped to anywhere in the world.

This Raju t-shirt was  is being offered in partnership with Arm the Animals and can be purchased directly  Read more »


After fifty long years of being chained and leading a life of suffering, Raju was freed in the early hours of the morning on 4th July 2014 by Wildlife SOS, a Delhi based NGO. For the first time after five decades, he is having his first day of freedom. It is an interesting coincidence that 4th July happens to be America’s independence day! Read more »

Raju's Journey to Freedom- A Photo Journal

We don't have a lot of information about Raju's earlier life.  We believe he was probably born in the wild almost 50 years ago and when he was just a baby, caught and sent to live his life as a working elephant.  He has spent almost 50 years in chains and most likely would have died never known freedom.  However, on July 4th, Raju took his first steps as a 'free' elephant because of your support.  Below is a photojournal of his journey to freedom. Read more »