After 53 years of being forced to perform in a circus, Rhea the elephant has finally been rescued.
Most likely torn from her family at a very young age, her life as a young elephant was spent “being beaten into submission, punished regularly and deprived of food and water,” according to Wildlife S.O.S. India’s blog.
Like most elephants in the circus, her life was spent in a tiny cage and she was chained, beaten and forced to perform unnatural tricks for those who paid money to watch as she suffered in silence, according to Wildlife S.O.S.
Her only sources of hope were Mia and Sita, two other “sister” elephants facing the same fate, according to the organization. The three elephants formed a bond that allowed them to get through their years of suffering together.