Kaavan, a 35-year-old elephant called “the lone elephant in the world,” said he looked forward to furthering improvements in his future this week as the isolated animal moved to a wildlife sanctuary to reunite with his own.
Kaavan first came to Pakistan when he was 1 year old as a gift from Sri Lanka and since then he has been at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad. In the 1990s, he was known as a female companion but he died in 2012. Kaavan was devastated by the days of mourning that followed his death.
Elephants are very social and intelligent animals and like many people, it is not good to keep them for a long time. Over the years it has been feared by animal rights groups that Kaavan suffered from his isolation and earned him his unfortunate title as the lone elephant in the world.
Kaavan was kept in a state of disrepair at a zoo in Pakistan, which sparked worldwide outrage, but after the expedition led by Four Paws and backed by one and only Cher, the psychedelic animal took refuge in Cambodia in the hope that he would make some friends.
Sending an adult elephant so far is not a mid-voyage, but it is said that Kaavan managed the voyage like a champ and continued to dry and eat for this period. Amir Khalil, an expert on Four Paws, described Kaavan as a “frequent flyer” who prepared Kaavan for his journey with the help of Frank Sinatra.
According to the Four Paws website, Kaavan was not disturbed during the transfer so keeping him calm was the highest in terms of safety while flying. It was said that it would be easier to make such a large creature into a crate and cargo plane, but the plane was described as “carefree” after seeing Kaavan make a safe landing in reap, Cambodia.
Cher, the co-founder of Free the Wild, said in a statement: “I can’t wait to bring him to Cambodia with a four-pound team. For the past four years, my partners at Free the Wild – Mark, Gina, and I – have been working tirelessly to achieve this moment. ‘Free Kaavan’ will soon be no longer just a hashtag, but a reality. And it makes me very proud and happy. “
Kaavan will join a group of elephants at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary with the help of Free the Wild, a non-profit organization. Co-founder Cher has been fighting to relocate Kaavan since 2016, and his departure marks the last Asian elephant to leave Pakistan.