It was another night; Raghu had given yet another great performance. The audience’s appreciation was an indication that he would be allowed to eat today.
There were times when his performance was booed upon, because he could not perform unnatural tricks his trainer asked him to, and he was starved to ‘teach him a lesson’!
Sitting there, he remembered the jungle, his childhood, his family, his freedom and the day it all ended. Six men blindfolded him while he was alone, put him in a cage, tranquilized him and took him away. He awoke to the sounds of wailing animals, bruised and caged in a camp.
He tried shouting for help, but a man hit him with something sharp behind his ears and all he could see was blood flowing from his head. Raghu was so afraid that he lost his voice.
The next day, they took him out of the cage to train him. He was asked to stand on a tiny stool, but he shook his head in disagreement. That is when Raghu realised he could never say no. The trainer poked him with a metal stick to make him perform. This continued for weeks and months. Raghu did try running away numerous times, but he was dragged back into his cage and punished! This was 5 years ago, and Raghu had lost all hopes of being rescued from this hell called a ‘Circus’. Most of his friends either died, or were sold because they could not perform anymore. The routine tortures made him resign to the fact that he was to die there- abused, tortured and starved.
This is the story of Raghu, the circus elephant, and the story of thousands of animals who are illegally captured, beaten, starved and made to perform unnatural tricks for human entertainment.
FIAPO’s #EndCircusSuffering campaign aims at putting an end to this practice of torturing animals in circuses, in the name of ‘entertainment’. Over the course of the campaign, ECS has been successful in rehabilitating hundreds of animals from circuses, including elephants like Raghu, who deserve better.
We are now petitioning the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) for a legislation which makes circus performances with animals illegal. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) have already recommended amendment in legislation to exclude animals from circuses.
Help save Raghu and thousands others like him!