After years of public outcry and campaigning by American pop star Cher, the “world’s loneliest elephant” was finally rescued from Pakistan and was taken to a retirement facility in a Cambodian sanctuary to begin a new chapter in his life.
The 36-year-old elephant grabbed the eyeballs of Oscar-winning actress Cher who was moved by the way the former was being treated. Cher has been in the Islamabad zoo in recent days to provide moral support to Kaavan.
“My wishes have finally come true”, Cher said in a statement thanking her charity Free The Wild.
“We have been counting down to this moment and dreaming of it for so long and to finally see Kaavan transported out of (the Islamabad) zoo will remain with us forever.”
Cher has filed a case against the pitiful condition of the zoo that Kaavan used to live in, which she won. The court then ordered that all the animals in the zoo must be moved out.
“Thanks to Cher and also to local Pakistani activists, Kaavan’s fate made headlines around the globe and this contributed to the facilitation of his transfer,” said Martin Bauer, a spokesman for Four Paws International — an animal welfare group that has spearheaded the relocation effort.
Kaavan was then transported to Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia on a Russian plane that has stopped in New Delhi too.
“Sending him to a place where he can be with other elephants of his kind … is really the right choice,” climate change minister Malik Amin Aslam told AFP.
“We will be happy to see him happy in Cambodia and we hope he finds a partner very soon.”
EXACTLY AVERY ???? This is my?His Name is Kaavan pic.twitter.com/TAY2krS2lO— Cher (@cher) November 21, 2020
Earlier, the zoo authority has been accused of denying the animal better living conditions and subjecting it to chaining. He is known to be pining for a new mate after his partner died in 2012.
May he be happy forever in his new home.