The Islamabad High Court on Saturday allowed the relocation of elephant Kaavan from Islamabad Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia.
Activists around the world have campaigned for Kaavan’s release supported by famed singer Cher. A petition for the animal’s release has gathered over 400,000 signatures.
The American singer Cher shared this great news using her Twitter handle.
WE HAVE JUST HEARD FROM
PAKISTAN HIGH COURT
KAAVAN IS FREE😭😭😭😭
— Cher (@cher) May 21, 2020
Consequently, accusing the zookeepers of chaining the Kaavan and mistreated him by putting him in isolation. Zoo officials have denied keeping Kaavan in chains.
Besides this, they said his distress was due to him pining for a new mate. His mate, Saheli, died in 2012.
The capital’s High Court ordered Kaavan’s freedom in May and instructed wildlife officials to find him a “suitable sanctuary”.
Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said authorities would “ensure that he lives a happy life”.
Further, he added “We are bidding Kaavan farewell with a heavy heart. It is a sad decision.”
However, Aslam said that he discussed the matter of Kaavan with PM Imran Khan. According to the discussion, the government will build a Safari zoo in Islamabad to eradicate such incidents.
Story of Kaavan
Kaavan arrived as a one-year-old in 1985 from Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government sent him as a gift to former dictator General Zia-ul-Haq. In 1990, Kaavan’s mate Saheli also arrived from Bangladesh. The poor fellow died in 2012, leaving Kaavan alone.
Afterward, the lonely Kaavan exhibit unusual behavior, such as bobbing his head repeatedly, which showed “a kind of mental illness,” Safwan Shahab Ahmad of the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation revealed in 2016.
However, moving Kaavan to an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia would allow him to interact with over 80 pachyderms in the Cambodian park. Not only this but he would also be under the care of wildlife experts.
It is pertinent to mention that the elephants are immensely sociable animals who need companions. Despite that, no other company was brought in for him, and he became known as Pakistan’s loneliest elephant.
Hopefully, Kaavan will soon found his new mate and a great environment to live a better life.
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