Cher traveled to Pakistan this week at the climax of a long campaign to give a better life to Kaavan, an elephant dubbed the “world’s loneliest” because of the 35 years he spent isolated in a tiny enclosure a zoo in Islamabad. With Cher’s assistance, along with businessman Eric Margolis and the group Four Paws International, Kaavan is on his way to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia.
CBS News reports: “At just about a year old, Kaavan was gifted to Pakistan by Sri Lanka in the mid-1980s. He spent decades at the Islamabad zoo in a small enclosure with few of the amenities required for the physical or mental health of an animal of such high intelligence. He performed for visitors, reportedly prodded by handlers to collect cash. In 2012, Kaavan lost his only companion, a female elephant called Saheli, and his demeanor rapidly deteriorated. He became angry, despondent, and given his unhealthy diet, obese. The conditions were so dire at the zoo that a Pakistani court ordered it to be shut down in May this year, and all the animals to be relocated. That sparked a global effort to evacuate the animals, and especially Kaavan.”
Cher finally got to meet Kaavan in person this week, and serenaded him with the Disney classic, “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
Cher tweeted about the journey to rescue Kaavan.