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APP
November 25, 2020

The lonely elephant of Capital packs up for Cambodia

National

A
APP
November 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Kaavan, the capital’s lone elephant set to leave for Cambodia on November 29, was given a farewell by President Arif Alvi along with First Lady Samina Alvi, who especially visited the Murghzar Zoo on Tuesday.

Living in Islamabad for 35 years, Kaavan will be shifted to a sanctuary in Cambodia following the orders of Islamabad High Court in view of his improper care due to absence of natural habitat at the Capital zoo.

Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi said the outstanding judgment passed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah was in line with the Islamic traditions of caring for animals and keeping them in an environment best suited to them.

He said detaching young animals from their mothers was the biggest cause of their emotional distress. The President expressed confidence that Kaavan would find happiness in Cambodia after being surrounded by his companion elephants.

The President called for implementation of Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1890) that provided a good basis for the protection of animals. He emphasized on speeding-up the process of re-establishment of Islamabad Zoo for the children and citizens.

The President and First Lady were shown a cage for Kaavan especially prepared to airlift him. Amir Khalil, a vet from Austrian animal rescue organization Four Paws, in a briefing to President Alvi said Kaavan would be initially kept for a month at the Cambodian sanctuary and later shifted to a 25,000 acre forest area for his free movement. An elephant named Saheli was brought from Bangladesh in 1990 who remained as Kaavan’s partner until her death in 2012. Kaavan was temporarily chained by zookeepers in 2002 for his aggressive behavior. The animal rights activists have been campaigning to free Kaavan and to treat the animals in a better way.

On May 21, 2020, the Islamabad High Court ordered that all the animals, especially Kaavan, be immediately relocated to safe sanctuaries. After Kaavan, two bears will also be relocated to Jordan on December 6 completing the process of relocation of all animals.