An animal rescue charity has freed an elephant that had been held in captivity for 50 years in a circus in India.
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The not-for-profit group Wildlife SOS India saved elephant Rhea after she was being cruelly treated, and travelled 2100km from the circus site to organisation’s wildlife centre.
Rhea was reunited with her sisters Mia and Sita who had been rescued from the same circus late last year.
Unfortunately Rhea couldn’t be freed at that time as Wildlife SOS didn’t have legal permission.
Upon arrival, Rhea’s bells around her neck were removed by the organisation’s co-founder Geeta Seshamani – these were a “symbol of her liberation from a lifetime of misery and abuse in the circus.”
According to Wildlife SOS, Rhea’s former owner was considering “gifting her” to a nearby temple which could have resulted in abuse similar to that inflicted on temple elephants across India.
You can see from the pics and the video that Rhea is so happy for her new life!
Watch Rhea have her first meal with her sister