By Susan Wyatt
The group that rescued Raju, the 'crying" elephant, has taken in another mistreated elephant in India.
The story of Raju, who appeared to cry tears of joy when Wildlife SOS released the spiked chains that held his legs, went viral two months ago.
Late last week, Wildlife SOS got word that an elephant named Lilly was confiscated by the forest department. The 35-year-old elephant had been used as a "begging" elephant. The person who had her, who confessed to illegally keeping her for 10 years, was jailed.
On Sunday, Wildlife SOS brought Lilly to her new home, the Elephant Rehabilitation & Conservation Center in Ban Santour, Haryana, about 5-6 hours from New Delhi. The center is spread across 400 acres of land that includes a natural pond.
Lilly is now with two other female elephants at the center. One is 50 and the other is 70.
"They were a little unsure of Lilly at first but within 12 hours all 3 were showing interest in one another," the group said. "We just can't get enough of seeing this sweet girl settling into her new home."
Wildlife SOS says India continues to be plagued with problems of large numbers of elephants being held in captivity for logging, entertainment and street begging. Their focus is on addressing the problem of injured and sick elephant that are forced to work in slums and crowded cities.
The group says like Raju, Lilly has an open wound on her leg.
Wildlife SOS cares for 11 elephants, 400 bears, 26 leopards and 150 monkeys at its facilities.
The group says care for each elephant can cost up to $100,000 in the first year and $40,000 to $60,000 per year after that. You can donate to Lilly's care at www.crowdrise.com/HelpingLilly
Wildlife SOS says the man who had kept Raju is now fighting to get him back. You can get updates on the Wildlife SOS Facebook page.