Features Friday, March 27, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 24, 2015 | 01:31 pm IST  For most of his life, Mohan was used as a "begging and performing elephant". Stolen from his wild herd over 50 years ago, when he was approximately five or six-years-old, Mohan was regularly subjected to exploitation, abuse and beatings. A rescue operation was launched by Wildlife SOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department recently to free Mohan from his over five decades of captivity. (Image source: Wildlife S.O.S/Facebook) However, the operation had to be halted midway in Lalganj as the people, who were holding Mohan illegally for many years, allegedly threatened to cause a law and order situation. Fearing the safety of the rescuers, who were accompanied by over 40 police and forest officials, the district magistrate of Pratapgarh asked the members to abort the operation till the situation was under control. (Image source: Wildlife S.O.S/Facebook) "Mr. Bhupendar Mishra has illegal custody of the elephant and is trying to manipulate and mislead the crowd to cover their illegal activities. He is been supported by his two brothers in this. He is trying to stall the rescue of the elephant by filing revisions and misleading the courts although he has already lost the court battle," Mr. Y. P. Shukla, Deputy Conservator of Forests, said. Mohan along with Raju, the elephant who hit international headlines last year after he was freed from over five decades of captivity, spent several years together in Lalganj, Pratapgarh and Allahabad, where they were exploited. (Image source: Wildlife S.O.S/Facebook) According to Wildlife SOS, both the bull elephants were made to work from morning to evening, sometimes together and sometimes separately, but they would be chained beside each other at night. Eventually Raju's owner moved him to Allahabad and Mohan’s owner moved him to Pratapgarh, separating the two bull elephants. Baiju Raj MV, Coordinator Wildlife SOS said, “We will leave no stone unturned to rescue Mohan and are hopeful that we can successfully rescue him.”

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