Kaavan’s not-so lonesome trip to liberty in Cambodia

Kaavan’s not-so lonely journey to freedom in Cambodia

An international initiative aided bring the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ to a brand-new residence with 600 various other pachyderms.

An eight-year battle for the liberty of a marvelous five-tonne Asian elephant ultimately involved an end as a transportation aircraft flew out Pakistan as well as right into Cambodia to drop him off on Monday.

American vocalist Cher – a long time supporter for Kaavan’s liberty – got on the tarmac at the flight terminal of Cambodian city Siem Reap to welcome the elephant as well as satisfy the veterinarians that accompanied him on his lengthy trip in a customized cage, with greater than 200kg (440 extra pounds) of food to maintain him active.

Animal rescue organisation Four Paws, based in Vienna, claimed 36-year-old Kaavan – that invested the majority of his life at an Islamabad Zoo without a buddy – would certainly be launched from his cage in daytime on Tuesday at a refuge with 600 fellow pachyderms.

Elephant Kaavan is ultimately moved from Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad to Cambodia [Courtesy: Four Paws]

Kaavan, a 1985 present from Sri Lanka to Pakistan, had actually been residing in the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad with his companion Saheli, that passed away in 2012.

The zoo dropped on tough times as well as problems obtained so negative that a court in the Pakistani funding bought it enclosed August.

The circumstances of the man Asian elephant has actually recorded globally focus.

“Kaavan has become a symbol of hope and freedom for the hundreds of captive elephants all around the world,” claimed Owais Awan, a legal representative that became part of the moving task.

Marion Lombard, Four Paws’ replacement goal leader as well as task advancement policeman, became part of the group that went along with Kaavan on his trip from Islamabad to Siem Reap.

Lombard invested practically 3 months along with Amir Khalil, goal leader of Four Paws in Islamabad, planning for the trip.

She informed Al Jazeera she had actually blended feelings with enjoyment as well as joy for the elephant’s liberty from a little unit, yet claimed at the very same time she is additionally a little bit depressing.

“I’ve been quite moved by people who fought very hard for Kaavan. I am thrilled to see that Kaavan will start another chapter in his life,” claimed Lombard.

A crane raises a cage transportation Kaavan at the Islamabad International Airport [Saiyna Bashir/Reuters]


Kaavan was welcomed with excitement as well as media as the hand-painted cage made its means down the ramp.

Monks welcomed Kaavan with welcome routines as well as offerings upon his arrival in Cambodia.

There was a worldwide group in position that made the trip feasible included Four Paws, Free the Wild – which is led by Cher – as well as Eric Margolis, a US business owner that aided make the journey possible.

Cher shown up in Islamabad this previous week as well as fulfilled Prime Minister Imran Khan to thank him for his federal government’s initiatives in Kaavan’s launch.

Kaavan will certainly initially experience a quarantine duration as well as will gradually be admitted to rooms to obtain utilized to the brand-new environments.

In time he will certainly be presented to 3 lady Asian elephants at the shelter, which will certainly be a monitored initiative to stay clear of any kind of aggressiveness from either side.

Lombard clarified exactly how Khalil created an unique bond with Kaavan as well as both will certainly remain in Siem Reap for the change duration.

“We’ve handed him over and where he is going, the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, has great experience and very well trained staff to handle elephants – particularly abused, traumatised and rescue elephants.”


Khalil informed Al Jazeera from Siem Reap he was not fretted about Kaavan’s health and wellness or change. What is essential is exactly how he hangs out with various other elephants, he claimed.

“I’ve never bonded with an animal like I did with Kaavan and he finally found a friend in me, but with other elephants he can have more friends that speak the same language … and have someone who can hear you,” claimed Khalil.

“Especially because he was so lonely for so many years. Elephants have great memories, he’s witnessed so much and he’s going to have great stories to tell his new lady friends.”

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