Today is World Elephant Day—and we’re sharing the long-awaited news that a 35-year-old pachyderm who spent nearly a decade without a playmate in an Islamabad zoo will finally be moved to a new home.
Earlier this year, Good News Network reported that Kavaan the elephant was ordered to be freed from Murghazar Zoo following a ruling by the Pakistani High Court.
Many groups and individuals that fought for his release hailed the court’s decision—including the singer Cher, who celebrated the news by tweeting “THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE.”
Since the ruling in May, Pakistan’s Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has been working to find Kavaan a “suitable sanctuary.
According to a report yesterday from Euronews, if Kavaan is deemed healthy for travel, he will be relocated to Cambodia in the next few weeks to live the rest of his days at Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary for rescued animals run by elephant expert Lek Chailert.
Chailert was featured in a documentary, Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story, in which she was praised for her compassion.
“Chailert treats them like humans. She treats them with dignity and respect, and she gives them love,” said the filmmaker Ashley Bell. “I’m a pretty skeptical person, but I saw it with my own eyes. To see the change in Noi Na’s behavior as soon as the chains are taken off and she’s made to feel comfortable in Lek’s sanctuary. She immediately began eating, rubbing up against walls, covering herself with dirt and scratching her butt.” All good signs.
The news of this relocation is a big development in the life of Kavaan, who’s one giant step closer to being, once again, among a social group of his peers.