Court orders the release of Pakistan’s “loneliest elephant” thanks to American singer Cher

Yvonne O'Halloran

American singer Cher has finally won the fight and Kavaan- Pakistan’s loneliest elephant will be freed from the zoo he was kept at for 26 miserable and lonely years. Cher is the co-founder of Free the Wild– an animal charity that rescues mistreated animals from captivity, along  with businessmen Mark Cowne and his wife Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne.

The campaign to free Kaavan began 4 years ago, and finally, after 200,000 petition signatures and ‘endless meetings’ they found a way to legally charge Islamabad Zoo for violations to animal welfare, took the zoo to court and won the case.

FTW Global wrote on instagram “Confirming the news on Instagram, the group wrote: “After what seems to have been a never-ending struggle we can, at last, tell you that Kaavan the elephant is definitely to be freed.”

Not only Kaavan, but over 800 other animals that were suffering too are all being released as part of the agreement.”

Kaavan was a gift from Sri Lanka and first arrived at Murghazar Zoo in Pakistan when he was just 1 year old. He was kept chained up and was neglected over the years with no proper veterinary care. He deteriorated further when his only companion Saheli, died in 2012.

Pictures show the elephant confined and chained in a tiny enclosure with only a decrepit shed to screen the scorching sun and a dirty pool to play in.

Kaavan will be relocated to a suitable sanctuary within 30 days of the court ruling. “The pain and suffering of Kaavan must come to an end by relocating him to an appropriate elephant sanctuary, in or outside the country”, ordered the court after calling out the zoo for neglecting the animal’s needs for the past three decades.”

In a tweet, Cher thanked the Pakistani government “It’s so emotional for us that I have to sit down.”

Photo Credit AFP Global

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