Farewell event hosted at Islamabad Zoo as Kaavan set to leave for Cambodia

The Asian Elephant was a major attraction at the zoo for the last 35 years

Kaavan, the lonely Asian elephant living at the now-defunct Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, will be heading to a sanctuary in Cambodia on the 29th of this month. A farewell event was arranged for the elephant residing in the zoo since 1985 when it was gifted to Pakistan by the High Commission of Sri Lanka. The event was attended by President Arif Alvi, government officials, lawmakers, and some civil society members. Kids got a chance to get their pictures taken before the elephant departed.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) that Kaavan and all other animals in the zoo be moved to proper facilities and the Islamabad Zoo be brought to international standards before housing any more animals in the future.

Ready to leave

Four Paws, an international organization for animal rights, has been active in getting Kaavan to his new home. They arranged for medical tests, which declared the elephant fit to travel. The organization has also been on board regarding Kaavan’s travel arrangements.

Four Paws spokeswoman Marion Lombard said that Kaavan had responded well to the training given to him though moving an animal weighing 4.8 tons is never an easy task.

β€œWe decided to organize an event to allow the people of Pakistan and the government to say goodbye to Kaavan before his new life in Cambodia. So we want to wish him a happy retirement,” she said.

Support from many quarters

The story of the lonely animal led to relocation from many quarters, including world-famous singer Cher. Many have rejoiced the decision to relocate Kaavan to a sanctuary specializing in elephants.  The President was provided with details of the travel arrangements.

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