MATHURTA, INDIA -- An elephant named 'Raju' visibly cried after he was released from 50 years of shackles and abuse, according to his rescuers.
On July 4, the elephant was removed from its captor's custody, the nonprofit organization Wildlife SOS said. He had spent five decades with his legs in chains, starving and sometimes eating plastic to fill his stomach.
He was also beaten severely and forced to work as a "begging prop."
When rescuers removed his chains, they said Raju cried profusely, and pictures of the elephant's tear-stained face went viral online.
Raju was taken to a new home where he has his own enclosure and can walk freely with access to a fresh water pool. He will also be with seven other elephants, Wildlife SOS said.
More than 3,000 elephants still live in captivity in India.