After more than 50 years of abuse and neglect, the pachyderm with the dubious distinction of "the world's unluckiest elephant" has gotten his first lucky break as he was freed to an elephant sanctuary.
Mohan, a 55-year-old elephant living in India, was noticed by elephant rescue Wildlife SOS two years ago. The rescue team at the time was working hard to free his brother, Raju, who quickly made headlines for weeping upon rescue.
The organization suspected poachers took Mohan from his family in the wild as a calf.
He was then taught to beg for money or rented out as a prop for local weddings. According to Wildlife SOS' Facebook, his wounds and weight confirmed he was chained and beaten in order to be trained.
For two years, the rescue organization fought with courts to seize Mohan, and retire him to their Elephant Conservation and Care Center. When the high courts finally granted them permission to free the elephant earlier this year, Wildlife SOS sprang into action.
According to their Facebook page, they approached the location that was keeping Mohan in the middle of the night in an unmarked van to catch his original owners off guard.
Then came the long journey to the conservation center, during which volunteers fed him fresh bananas and sugar cane.
Finally, last Wednesday, the elephant was greeted at the center with a large banner that wrote, "Welcome home, Mohan!"
"It has been extremely delightful to walk with Mohan, seeing him enjoy his freedom," Wildlife SOS Co-Founder Geeta Seshamani said in a video posted to Facebook. "He's a very calm, philosophical elephant. It's wonderful seeing him relaxing like this and having fun."
For the first time in Mohan's life, he will be free to roam in open land, eat from natural growing vegetation, and bathe in pools in the enclosure.
But, according to Wildlife SOS, his rescue only marks the first step in his journey to health.
The organization reported that he is severely underweight and have swollen feet that needs daily medicated foot soaks. In addition, he also had a stomach infection and liver issues that need to be addressed.
Wildlife SOS is continuing to seek donations for Mohan's veterinary care and stabilized diet.