When will Kaavan and Islamabad Zoo animals be shifted to sanctuaries? Court asks

IHC ordered all animals to be moved to sanctuaries until Marghazar Zoo conditions are up to international standards

Islamabad’s city administration has been unable to relocate animals in the city’s zoo to sanctuaries a month after Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) orders. These include the 35-year-old elephant Kaavan.

On May 21, the court ordered that all animals in the zoo must be relocated to sanctuaries and the facilities in the zoo should be updated and evaluated by an animal agency of international standing before they can be brought back.

The court has ordered that all stakeholders should meet on Monday and formulate a process to fulfill court’s orders. The case has been adjourned for a period of thirty days. The original deadline for the implementation of the court’s order was June 22 but nothing has been done so far.

The lonely Kaavan

Kavaan was gifted to the government of Pakistan by the Sri Lankan High Commission in 1985. Pakistan is the only country in the region where elephants are not present in the jungles. Kaavan had a female partner Saheli, who died in 2012.

The elephant has since been alone and as per reports, have developed psychological issues. There were reports that another female partner will be brought in but nothing has materialized thus far. IHC ordered that the elephant be moved to a proper sanctuary, whether in Pakistan or abroad so that it can improve its mental health.  

Better treatment

IHC found that the treatment of the animals was criminal and changes are needed. Marghazar Zoo hasn’t been in the best of conditions recently and there has been talk of corruption by the administration as well. There have been accusations that the animals were not properly fed. The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board has set up a partnership with WWF in order to better handle the animals and improve their living conditions.

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