STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

'World's loneliest elephant' Kaavan set to land in Cambodia from Pakistan

The case of Kaavan -- an overweight, 36-year-old bull elephant -- sparked global uproar from animal rights groups, who petitioned for his move from an Islamabad zoo accused of substandard care.

Published: 30th November 2020 12:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2020 12:01 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistani wildlife workers and experts secure a crate carrying an elephant named Kaavan on a truck before transporting him to a sanctuary in Cambodia. (Photo | AP)

Pakistani wildlife workers and experts secure a crate carrying an elephant named Kaavan on a truck before transporting him to a sanctuary in Cambodia. (Photo | AP)

By AFP

SIEM REAP: An elephant dubbed the "world's loneliest" was set to land in Cambodia on Monday from Pakistan, headed for a sanctuary housing three potential mates, an official said.

The case of Kaavan -- an overweight, 36-year-old bull elephant -- sparked global uproar from animal rights groups, who petitioned for his move from an Islamabad zoo accused of substandard care and conditions.

His cause was boosted by a spirited social media campaign by American singer Cher, who travelled to Pakistan to see him off.

"Cambodia is ready to welcome Kaavan," deputy environment minister Neth Pheaktra told AFP Monday.

Dr. Amir Khalil, a veterinarian from the international animal welfare organization Four Paws, feeds an elephant named Kaavan who is loaded in a crate for transporting him to a sanctuary in Cambodia, at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Photo | AP)

The elephant is expected to land in tourist hotspot Siem Reap around 2 pm (0700 GMT), before being transported to neighbouring province Oddar Meanchey where a wildlife sanctuary awaits him.

"We expect to breed Kaavan with local elephants -- this is an effort to conserve the genetic fold," the minister said, adding that the sanctuary also houses three female elephants. 

Dubbed the world's loneliest elephant by the press, Kaavan was the only Asian elephant in Pakistan.

But the conditions at the Islamabad zoo were so bad that a judge in May ordered that all the animals be moved.

A team of vets and experts from Four Paws, an Austria-based animal welfare group, has spent months working with Kaavan to get him ready for the trip -- a complicated process due to his size and the amount of food needed en route.

The elephant also had to be taught to enter the massive metal crate that was placed in a cargo plane for the seven-hour flight.

But "Kaavan quickly gained confidence in us and made great progress in a short time", said Four Paws veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil in a statement Monday.

Four Paws, along with Islamabad authorities, also safely moved three wolves and some monkeys from the zoo. Currently only two Himalayan brown bears, one deer and one monkey remain.

Superstar Cher is expected in Cambodia to be part of Kaavan's welcome entourage.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp