American singer Cher expresses joy in the landmark decision. “ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE” tweeted Cher. The American singer was supporting the campaign to release Kaavan from the zoo.
American singer Cher thanks the Pakistan government for releasing elephant Kaavan from the Islamabad Zoo.
In a landmark decision, Islamabad High Court ordered the release of Kaavan from Islamabad Zoo. Also, it has ordered to find a suitable animal sanctuary for Kaavan in Sri Lanka in 30 days, informed the group-Friends of Islamabad. This group claims to work for animal welfare at the zoo.
Kaavan is an Asian elephant. He came to Islamabad Zoo when he was one-year-old from Sri Lanka in 1985. The zoo administration held him in chains due to his violent behavior in 2002. But the administration freed him later after the outcry.
He got a mate, Saheli in 1990 from Sri Lanka. But she died in 2012. In 2015 reports emerged that zoo administration has chained him again.
Picture of Kaavan with lack of facilities- no adequate shelter at the Islamabad Zoo-where temperatures in summer soar to above 40 degrees Celsius, attracted the attention of animal lovers from across the world. Moreover, the pictures showed the zoo administration did not provide Kaavan a clean pond to play. Such poor living conditions and habitat for Kaavan at the zoo spurred backlash from the civil society.
They demanded the immediate release of Kaavan in 2015. Scores of people signed a petition and sent it to Zoo administration and the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
However, a second petition with over 200,000 signatures was sent to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In 2016, a wildlife expert in Pakistan informed that Kaavan has developed serious mental illness. His behavior including bobbing his head showed signs of distress. But, back in 2016-Zoo management repudiated the outrage on the mistreatment of the elephant. They argued that they have not chained him and that he just needs a new partner.