A legal team from Wildlife SOS fought "tooth and nail" to ensure Raju's freedom, bolstered by a petition on Change.org which garnered a whopping 467,000 signatures from supporters around the globe. And on Tuesday, India's Allahabad High Court ruled in Raju's favor - officially declaring him free to live out his days in peace on the grounds of the sanctuary among elephants just like himself.
"We are all very excited and happy," Suvidha Bhatnagar of Wildlife SOS told The Dodo by phone. "It's the greatest news."
Rupak De, Chief Conservator of Forests in Raju's home state of Uttar Pradesh, echoes that sentiment in a press release from Wildlife SOS, saying it reaffirms the notion that animals are as deserving of the basic rights of liberty afforded to humans by law.
"The constitution of India speaks of freedom which includes not only people but animals as well," he said. "I am very happy and proud that we are able to afford the provision of constitution in letter and spirit. I am also thankful to the Judiciary for supporting a just cause and saving Raju the elephant. "
Every day, Raju continues to get healthier and stronger, say his rescuers, as he settles into his new life on the sanctuary.