Friday May 22, 2020
ISLAMABAD: US singer Cher shared her delight and thanked the Pakistan government after Islamabad High Court ordered freedom for a lonely elephant Kaavan.
Kaavan had become the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by the US singer.
"We have just heard from Pakistan High Court Kaavan is free," the singer and animal rights campaigner tweeted in capital letters, adding a string of emojis and saying she felt "sick".
The Islamabad High Court ordered wildlife officials to consult with Sri Lanka, where the Asian elephant came from, to find him a "suitable sanctuary" within 30 days.
"The pain and suffering of Kaavan must come to an end by relocating him to an appropriate elephant sanctuary, in or outside the country", the court ordered.
The court has also ordered dozens of other animals -- including brown bears, lions and birds -- to be relocated temporarily to while the zoo improves its standards.
Cher, who for years has spoken out about his plight, tweeted her thanks to the Pakistani government, adding "it´s so emotional for us that I have to sit down".
She further said, “THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE. CAN'T STOP.”
Arriving as a one-year-old in 1985 from Sri Lanka, Kaavan was temporarily held in chains in 2002 because zookeepers were concerned about increasingly violent tendencies, but he was freed later that year after an outcry.
His mate Saheli, who arrived also from Sri Lanka in 1990, died in 2012, and in 2015 it emerged that Kaavan was regularly being chained once more -- for several hours a day.
Scores of people signed a petition sent to zoo authorities.
A second petition circulated in 2016 and backed by over 200,000 animal-lovers from across the globe demanded Kaavan´s release to a sanctuary.