This Sunday evening on Channel 5, settle yourself down and take a look at Cher and the Loneliest Elephant at 8pm.
Cher’s charity Free the Wild helped to rescue an Asian Elephant from the Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo, and relocate the elephant too.
Kaavan was in a terrible state in the zoo
Cher travelled to Pakistan to help save Kaavan. The poor elephant had spent years chained up in Islamabad’s zoo, and he has been alone since 2012 when his partner died.
Kaavan became obese because of a poor diet and he has behavioural issues. Visitors to the zoo noticed Kaavan’s physical and psychological deterioration and they began to raise concerns over his wellbeing.
The public started to raise awareness
The zoo management took no action, and so the people of Pakistan and Anika Sleem and her colleagues at Team Kaavan began to campaign online, so as to raise awareness of the situation Kaavan was in.
Cher got involved …
These campaigns reached Cher and she sought to help him which led her to Mark Cowne and his wife Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, both life-long conservationists.
The three of them formed Free the Wild to help Kaavan and other wild animals in captivity who are suffering. In 2016, the battle to relocate him began and in 2020, he was finally relocated to an animal sanctuary in Cambodia.
Kaavan was free to go to Cambodia
Dr Frank Goeritz, one of the world’s leading elephant veterinary experts, travelled with Kaavan who handled the 23 hour, 4,000km journey to Cambodia well. He went by road and air to the one million acre Kulen-Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary. Volunteers and staff work to protect the natural habitat for a range of species. And Kaavan the elephant is lonely no more.
The zoo has now closed due to the way its animals were treated and its grounds are due to be a conservation area.
Islamabad’s zoo is now closed… Final evacuations
In December 2020, FOUR PAWS evacuated the last two animals, Himalayan brown bears Suzie and Bubloo. They went by plane from Parkistan to Jordan where they will have a home at the “Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife” sanctuary – run by the Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS. There are no more animals left in the zoo in Islamabad, which is finally. Find out more about Suzie and Bubloo closing its gates for good.