Kaavan The Elephant Given Check-Up Before Cambodia Move

ISLAMABAD (Pakistan), Aug 4 (dpa): Veterinarians from an international animal rights group on Friday examined Kaavan, a lonely elephant at a Pakistani zoo, ahead of his relocation to a sanctuary in Cambodia, following years of global outcry about his poor living conditions.

Kaavan the elephant would soon be sent to the South-east Asian country to end his three decades of misery in a small enclosure at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, where he spent most of his life in chains.

Vets from Four Paws, a Vienna-based body, had evaluated Kaavan’s physical and emotional health to see if he was fit for air travel and stable enough for a new life with other elephants.

Pakistani authorities would schedule his departure in the light of those suggestions, said doctor Anis Rahman of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.

“He needs training (before the relocation),” said veterinary surgeon Frank Goeritz, team leader and responsible for elephants at the Leibniz Institute in Berlin.

Kaavan developed erratic behaviour because he wasn’t trained by professionals at the young age, said Akmal Rana, a consulting veterinarian for the zoo.

“His miseries compounded when his mate, named Saheli, died in 2012,” Rana said, adding the elephant looked extremely bored and was desperately longing for company.

Kaavan threw around cleaning shovels, chased zoo staff and kept moving in distress during the examination before veterinarians gave him tranquillizers to calm him for taking blood samples.

The Cambodian sanctuary was chosen as it already houses more than 80 elephants and is equipped with experts and other related facilities. – dpa (Via THE STAR) Photos: 4 Paws

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