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'Gajraj', a 63-year old elephant, has been rescued after living in chains at Aundh in Satara district of Maharashtra for more than 50 years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said here today. He has been sent to Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, it said. PETA had launched a campaign for rescue of Gajraj, who was kept chained near a popular temple in Aundh. In April, Maharashtra government-appointed veterinarians confirmed that the elephant was suffering from untreated abscesses on his hindquarters and elbows, as well as a painful foot condition, PETA said. According to PETA's director of veterinary affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate, Gajraj is thought to be captured from the wild in 1965, and then forced to make an 800-kilometre journey from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Satara. Several celebrities, including Jacqueline Fernandez, Suniel Shetty, Sunny Leone, Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha had supported PETA's campaign for the animal's rescue.
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