Raju the Crying Elephant's Story is Being Made into a Movie So Try & Hold Back Your Tears
Dumbo it won't be, but it will probably still tear you apart. The incredible story of the freeing of Raju the elephant has been optioned for a film by producer Larry Brezner. It's some feel-good news in the middle of a pretty bleak news cycle, and we could all sure use it.
If you're not familiar with Raju's story, here's the lowdown. On July 4th of this year, Kartick Satyanarayan and his team from Wildlife SOS snuck into the captive elephant's enclosure in the middle of the night to free him. Raju had been in captivity for over 50 years, being sold from owner to owner, and when his rescuers found him on the side of the road, he was shackled with spiked chains and severely malnourished. It took over eight hours to free the poor guy, and he's what made the video of his release so viral: during the freeing, Raju appeared to cry, first from pain, then from joy.
OK, am I projecting just because elephants are my favorite animal and I believe they're wizened wizards in animal bodies? MAYBE, but elephants are highly sensitive animals that can acutely feel pain, and for a creature like Raju to survive fifty years of torture is amazing.
So far, the details are that Brezner will produce along with Indian father and son producing team Vijay and Prakash Armitroj. The main roles in the film will be Satyanarayan from Wildlife SOS and Nikki Sharpe from the American Wildlife Association. It'll be ultimately uplifting, but I don't want to know how they're gonna simulate all that pain. However there's a good chance that the Raju film can do for poaching awareness what the 2013 documentary Blackfish did for the abuse of orca whales. As CNN reported, in an impoverished country like India, animals still come second to human rights, but raising awareness of the issue in other more equipped nations could start a wave to help end their suffering. You can watch the video from his release, but make sure you're feeling emotionally stable while you do, or it just might wreck ya.