Cher on her way to Pakistan to help save world’s loneliest elephant
Singer and actress Cher is on her way to Pakistan to help save the “world’s loneliest elephant”.
Kaavan has spent 35 years in a zoo.
He lost his partner in 2012, has become obese due to a poor diet and suffers with behavioural issues, shaking his head back and forth for hours.
But now he is packing up his trunk in Pakistan where Cher, 74, will meet him, before being relocated to a sanctuary in Cambodia on Sunday.
The battle to have him relocated began in 2016, but after the pop superstar got involved in his campaign, he is finally breaking free from captivity.
Ingo Schmidinger, one of the experts who is helping with the move, has told Sky News that Kaavan “needs to be with other elephants”.
He said: “You can definitely compare his behaviour to human behaviour. I mean what would we do without other human conspecifics, so he is completely lost alone.
“He needs to talk elephantish, he needs to show elephant behaviour and that’s all for the moment not possible.
“This is why we’re trying to change this situation as soon as possible now.”
Four Paws International, a Vienna-based animal welfare group, has led the charge to save Kaavan, and has provided the medical treatment needed before he can travel.
Spokesman Martin Bauer said: “Thanks to Cher, but also local Pakistani activists, Kaavan’s fate made headlines around the world, and this contributed to the facilitation of his transfer.”
He added that even after he arrives in Cambodia, Kaavan will need years of physical and even psychological help.
In May, Pakistan’s high court ordered the closure of Marghazar Zoo in the capital of Islamabad, where the animal spent most of his life.
A medical examination in September showed his nails were cracked and overgrown – the result of years of living in an improper enclosure with flooring that damaged his feet.
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Members of the welfare group will also accompany him to the sanctuary.
Mr Bauer has praised Cher for her support, saying: “Celebrities lending their voices to good causes are always welcomed, as they help starting public discourse and raising pressure on responsible authorities.
“Around the globe there are animal lovers, famous and not famous, and the support of every single one of them is crucial.”
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