This is the moment 70-year-old elephant took his first ever free steps without chains after being rescued from captivity.
Gajraj has been a ‘temple elephant’ for most his life and was suffering foot and hip abscesses, sore foot pads and partial blindness when he was found by a charity.
He was taken 1,500km to his new home at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Care & Conservation Center in Mathura, India.
Volunteers filmed the moment he arrived – and stuck his trunk out the top of the truck for a sniff of his new home, before tentatively stepping out.
He enjoyed a relaxing dust bath moments after his first ever free steps without chains shackled around his legs.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said, “Gajraj immediately took to the new surroundings, gorging on fruits and taking dust baths.”
Charity vet Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, added: “We began his treatment as soon as he got into the ambulance.
“We drained the puss from his hip abscesses.
“He was calm throughout and cooperated with the treatment.”
The elephant was rescued by the police and forest department on June 14 before he was taken to his new home with the help of vets and elephant caretakers.
Wasim Akram, Wildlife SOS manager of special projects, said, “We ensured that Gajraj remained comfortable and hydrated throughout the long journey.
“We made sure he got enough green fodder and refreshing baths.
“We also made multiple pit stops for him to rest.”