This week has been a great one for the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ – Kavaan. After he lived in poor conditions for decades in a Pakistan zoo, he’s finally gotten to the lush sanctuary; a place he’ll live for the rest of his life. And the great news is that he’s made a new friend already.
It was reported earlier this year that Pakistan’s High Court ordered that Kavaan be freed from the Murghazar Zoo of Islamabad, which will be shut down permanently soon.
So many groups and people have been fighting for the release of the elephant, including Cher, who celebrated Kavaan’s win, tweeting, “THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE.”
Since that ruling in May, the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has been working hard to get the lonely elephant the best possible home. This they found in Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary
In a rescue led by the animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS, alongside IWMB and Cher’s Free The Wild organization, veterinarians and elephant experts have been busy preparing Kaavan for his departure to a new location.
For weeks, the team has been helping Kavaan learn how to make a stress-free entry and exit into and out of an air-shipment crate. Given the male elephant weighs 4.35 tons, that’s been no easy task.
This weekend, though, Kavaan was finally ready for his departure. With a military escort, the pachyderm was taken to Islamabad International Airport and onto a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft. After a stopover in India, he made the 10-hour flight to a new country, arriving at Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary in the capital of Siem Reap on Monday.
Kaavan has left his transport crate and enjoyed a warm welcome with a fruitcake and a banana tree leaves trail made just for him.
The world’s loneliest elephant, after living alone for eight years with no animal friends, he has made his first integration with another elephant.
In about a month time, three female elephants will be introduced to Kavaan, and he’ll be given 25,000 acres to roam in; this area is 50,000 times larger than the enclosure he was confined in, in the zoo, until he was set free by the court ruling.