Raju lives in Udaipur, India in a sanctuary called Animal Aid. He is blind. Most likely electrocuted. Electrical burns from the chaotic electrical supply of Indian cities are, apparently, common among monkeys there. The incident left Raju with a badly scarred face.

The sanctuary staff

says Raju is about 10 years old and that he came to their facility when he was maybe six months of age. Initially he was housed with others. But when his last companion was successfully healed and released back to the wild, Raju was left alone.

Shirley McGreal,

founder of the International Primate Protection League, learned about Raju and wanted to improve his living conditions. Shirley lived in India for several years, and abhorred the way monkeys were often treated, tied up and forced to perform by the side of the road on the way to tourist sites like the Taj Mahal.


provided funds to the sanctuary to double the size of Raju’s enclosure and put a divider down the middle, so that one side could be cleaned and safely re-stocked with enrichment while Raju inhabited the other half.

Erika Abrams 

Animal Aid’s co-founder, wrote to Shirley to say thanks: “I know for an outsider who doesn’t know the situation it would not perhaps be obvious what it means to double someone’s entire world as you are doing for Raju. Raju will know it. And you and your [supporters] are angels who are seeing the world through the eyes of a blind monkey.”

Rhesus monkeys are the world’s second-most-widely-distributed primate species (after humans), says Shirley. “They don’t always get a lot of respect in their native countries. Still, Raju’s tale reminds me of the classic story about returning one stranded starfish among thousands back to the sea.”