Elephant Raju Who Wept With Gratitude After 50 Years In Shackles Enjoys First Week Of Freedom (PICTURES)

And happily, we can now bring you images of Raju enjoying his first week of freedom.

The elephant, who was beaten, abused and forced to live on handouts from passing tourists on the streets of India, now has a new lease of life, thanks to north London-based charity Wildlife SOS.

On the road to recovery: After 50 years in chains, Raju stretches his legs

After a rescue which was a year in the making, Raju is now recovering from his ordeal at the charity’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura.

He’s been fed, watered, introduced to other elephants at the sanctuary - including another rescued "begging elephant" named Phoolkali - and is having his wounds treated by carers.

Writing on its Facebook page, Wildlife SOS said: “Great things happen when we work together.”

In pictures: Raju's rescue (scroll down for pictures of his recovery)

Raju the elephant

Raju the elephant

“More than anything, now it’s time for Raju to just rest after 50 years, he deserves it.

“Raju’s body is covered in abscesses and wounds from beatings he received from the chains. Treatment has begun.”

Raju's recovery