In May, Goddess of Pop, Cher, marked ‘one of the greatest moments’ of her life after a Pakistani court ordered freedom for a lonely elephant named Kaavan, who had become the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by the US singer.
“We have just heard from Pakistan High Court that Kaavan is free,” Cher had tweeted. “This is one of the greatest moments of my life,” the effusive singer had written.
Now, the famed singer has shared an update on the matter and shared the travelling crate Kaavan will be moving to Cambodia.
Sharing the picture of the crate that has been adorned with the signature Pakistani truck art, Cher wrote, “Ahhh, Kaavan’s travelling crate and home when he gets to Cambodia. It’s like a dog crate – a very huge dog crate. In beginning, it will make him feel safe and comfortable. Can’t wait to sing to him on way to Cambodia.”
She went on to add, “I have two songs.”
Cher also revealed that she will be present in Cambodia to ensure the smooth transition of Kaavan.
The Islamabad High Court has ordered wildlife officials to consult with Sri Lanka to find Kaavan a ‘suitable sanctuary’ within 30 days, tweeted the Friends of Islamabad Zoo, which described itself as a group of citizens concerned about animal welfare at the zoo.
Outrage over the treatment of Kaavan, an Asian elephant originally from Sri Lanka, went global several years ago with a petition garnering over 200,000 signatures after it emerged he was being chained at the Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan’s leafy capital.
Zoo officials later said this was no longer the case, and that he just needed a new mate after his previous partner died in 2012. But experts have told AFP previously that without a better habitat his future was bleak, even if a long-promised new mate finally arrives.
His behaviour – including signs of distress such as bobbing his head repeatedly – demonstrates “a kind of mental illness”, Safwan Shahab Ahmad of the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation told AFP in 2016.
Scores of people signed a petition sent to zoo authorities and Pakistan’s then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in protest. A second petition circulated in 2016 and backed by over 200,000 animal-lovers from across the globe demanded Kaavan’s release to a sanctuary.
Cher, who for years has spoken out about Kaavan’s plight, tweeted her thanks to the Pakistani government, adding “it’s so emotional for us that I have to sit down”. TRIBUNE.PK