It’s an unlikely story that doesn’t seem out of place in 2020, the year of strange and uncertain times, but amongst all the bad news there is always a glimmer of hope to be found. In this case it’s the story of the animal dubbed the ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ and chart topping pop singer Cher.
The elephant, named Kaavan, was previously the only Asia elephant to be found in Pakistan’s Islamabad zoo where he has spent many years in unfavourable conditions. The controversial home of the elephant was deemed unsuitable by many and the unsuitable structure he was living in caused him cracked and malformed nails. Kaavan was also noted to be overweight due to a severe lack of exercise, and increasingly lonely since the death of his elephant partner in 2012. Kaavan had originally been a gift to Pakistan from Sri Lanka according to the animal rights organisation Four Paws who have been given the responsibility for removing the elephant after the closure of his zoo.
A glimmer of hope
Then along came Cher who joined the campaign to save Kaavan back in 2016, and has since spent much time adding her voice to raise the profile of the campaign to move Kaavan to a sanctuary in Cambodia. Since coming to fame back in the 1960s as part of the pop duo Sonny and Cher, Cher has been an animal rights activist and philanthropist for many years. Her part in the campaign to rescue Kaavan adds a touch of glitter and glam to his happy ending, which has seen him travel in a Russian cargo plane with over 200 kilograms of food to north-west Cambodia. Diagnosed as overweight, Kaavan has been helped by experts to lose over 450 kilograms in preparation for the journey. Cher has also been involved in the making of a documentary following Kaavan in his journey from Pakistan to Cambodia which is expected to be on our screens next year.