Cher Helps Relocate the ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ to Cambodian Sanctuary

American singer Cher talks to veterinarian Amir Khalil of Four Paws as she watches Kaavan in his enclosure at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad on Saturday

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday appreciated efforts of USA celebrity singer Cher to relocate Kaavan, dubbed as the world's loneliest elephant, from a Pakistani zoo to Cambodia for better conditions.

According to tweets by the Prime Minister's Office, the premier appreciated Cher's efforts in retiring Kaavan to an elephant sanctuary and thanked her for her campaign and role in this regard.

The 36-year-old elephant tragically lost his partner in 2012.

Mr Khan's office released a video of the singer sitting with the prime minister outside on the expansive grounds of his residence.

Equally popular among children and adults, Kaavan, the male Asian elephant born in Sri Lanka in 1985, was gifted by the Sri Lankan government to the then president of Pakistan. After landing, it's an hour and a half drive to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary in the country's northwest.

Cher took up Kaavan's cause and has been a loud voice advocating for his resettlement.

In 2016, Cher, who co-founded a wildlife protection charity named Free The Wild, or FTW, launched a #SaveKaavan campaign for his relocation.

Iconic singer and actress Cher was set to visit Pakistan on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 to celebrate the departure of Kaavan, dubbed the "world's loneliest elephant", who will leave his Pakistani zoo for better conditions after years of lobbying by animal rights groups and activists.

"This is mainly because he is simply bored", said Martin Bauer of Four Paws International.

Officials at Islamabad International Airport (IIA) and the Airport Security Force (ASF) have been directed to make arrangements in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the smooth transportation of Kaavan to the airport from the Marghzar Zoo.

On Tuesday, with music, treats and balloons, friends of Kaavan threw a farewell party for the creature ahead of his relocation.

A medical examination in September showed Kaavan's nails were cracked and overgrown - the result of years of living in an improper enclosure with flooring that damaged his feet.

Kaavan has battled loneliness as well as poor living conditions.

For the last three months, the focus has been preparing Kaavan for the trip.

The vet said this was the first time in 30 years that he had developed a strong emotional bond with a rescue animal.

The Goddess of Pop arrived in the federal capital to see off Kaavan, the world's loneliest elephant.

They informed the court that the pair of bears would be shifted to Jordan on December 6, after the lone elephant Kaavan's departure to a Cambodian sanctuary on November 29.

Lauding the efforts of the activists, the court observed that Kaavan and other animals at the Marghazar Zoo would have continued to suffer unimaginable pain and suffering had it not been for the passion of thousands of caring human beings from across the globe, including celebrities such as Cher.

'Celebrities lending their voices to good causes are always welcomed, as they help starting public discourse and raising pressure on responsible authorities, ' he said.

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