The ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ now lives with 600 others like him4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
An Asian elephant named Kaavan, who became widely known as the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’, has got a new lease on life. After spending more than three decades in isolation, the mistreated, unhealthy elephant was rescued by iconic American singer Cher and animal organisation Four Paws International. Kaavan is now in Cambodia, at a wildlife rescue centre with 600 other elephants. Let’s learn a little about his journey.
Kavaan was a gift to Pakistan from Sri Lanka. He arrived at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad in 1985 as a one-year-old. In 1990, he was joined by another elephant Saheli, with whom he shared an enclosure. Saheli was Kavaan’s only companion, but unfortunately, she died in 2012. This left poor Kavaan listless, and he developed a range of physiological and psychological issues. Elephants are social animals, and a solitary life can lead to a number of problems.
Once Saheli passed away, animal lovers around the world petitioned to rescue Kavaan from the zoo, which has, over the years, been heavily scrutinised for mistreating animals with small enclosures and inhumane practices. In July this year, two lions died after inhaling smoke from a fire in their enclosure. What’s more, close to 500 animals have reportedly gone ‘missing’ from the zoo, while dozens others have died.
The BIG move
Relocating Kaavan was no easy task. In fact, efforts to get him moved were on from 2016, and Cher played a huge role in bringing publicity to this campaign. Finally, on November 29, he was flown to Cambodia to start his new life. A special crate was made to ship the over-five tonne animal, and he travelled with wildlife veterinarians and a whole lot of food – 200 kgs of it! His doctor said that what helped Kaavan with this big change was music – it appeared to calm him.
In Cambodia, he was welcomed with open arms. “Cambodia is pleased to welcome Kaavan. No longer will he be the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’,” the country’s deputy environment minister, Neth Pheaktra, was quoted as saying. “We expect to breed Kaavan with local elephants – this is an effort to conserve the genetic fold,” he added.
Here’s wishing Kaavan the best for a bright, larger-than-life future!
Owliver’s Animal Bulletin
Owliver rounds up all the happenings in the animal kingdom every week. Let’s see what’s roaring this week:
Dexter, a Labrador who failed at his training to become an elite sniffer dog, has made history by becoming Scotland Yard’s (London police) first emotional well-being dog. We think he’ll do a great job!
Major and Champ, the two German Shepherd’s moving into the White House with US President Joe Biden soon, will be joined by a cat! This marks the first feline entry into the top house in a long time!
Did you know alligators can regrow their tails? A new study has found that just like their smaller reptilian cousins – geckos and lizards – alligators too can regrow appendages up to 9 inches, or up tp 18% of their body weight!
Cyclone Nivar recently flooded many parts of the city of Chennai, but residents did not shy from opening their doors up to their furry friends. Dozens of people let strays take shelter from the harsh weather in their homes!