Tag: Pakistan

Cher Helps Kaavan, The World’s Loneliest Elephant, Finally Relocate From The Marghazar Zoo In Pakistan To The Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary

Photos By: FOUR PAWS International

Kaavan, the world’s loneliest elephant, has finally been relocated from the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, with global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS International overseeing the transfer.

Last month, the Islamabad High Court appointed Dr. Amir Khalil, veterinarian at  FOUR PAWS, as amicus curiae and assigned him with the logistical organization of Kaavan’s relocation, along with the support of the NGO Free The Wild.

As WAN reported in 2017, Free The Wild’s co-founder, music legend Cher, has been fighting for Kaavan’s rescue since 2016.

Cher waiting for Kaavan in Cambodia.

A Russian cargo plane and a four-ton transport crate that was able to hold a wild elephant are just some of the things that FOUR PAWS had to organize for Kavaan’s departure.

For FOUR PAWS, the rescue of Kaavan was their first elephant transfer by air. Worldwide, only a handful of adult elephants have been relocated by plane. To prepare 36-year-old Kaavan for his departure, the FOUR PAWS team, consisting of veterinarians and elephant experts, also spent about three months in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Three times a day, the team practiced safe and stress-free entry and exit into and from the transport crate with Kaavan who weighs approximately four tons.

“Kaavan quickly gained confidence in us and made great progress in a short time. In his case, it not only took a village but a whole country to transfer Kaavan to Cambodia,” Dr. Khalil said in a statement. “Without the support of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, the Pakistani authorities and the local community, American businessman Eric S. Margolis, as well as our partners from Free The Wild, this relocation would not have been possible.”

“It fills me with incredible joy to see that Kaavan’s suffering is finally coming to an end. I cannot wait to bring him to Cambodia together with the FOUR PAWS team.” noted Cher prior to Kaavan’s long trip to his new home. “For the past four years my partners in Free The Wild – Mark, Gina, and I – have been working tirelessly to achieve this moment. ‘Free Kaavan’ will soon no longer be just a hashtag, but reality. And, that makes me extremely proud and happy.”

Kaavan at the Marghazar Zoo

The 28-hectare Marghazar Zoo was originally opened in 1978 as a wildlife sanctuary in the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, but was later sadly converted into a zoo. The zoo has been owned by Islamabad since its opening. Kaavan came to Pakistan as a gift from Sri Lanka in 1985. From 1990 on, he shared his enclosure at Marghazar Zoo with his partner, Saheli, but since her death in 2012, Kaavan has lived a lonely existence. The zoo repeatedly made headlines because of its poor conditions.

Kaavan at the Marghazar Zoo

WAN also reported in August, about the release of shocking video footage involving two lions that were caught in a fire in their small enclosure at the zoo. Both big cats tragically died because of smoke inhalation. In recent years, over 500 animals at the zoo have been reported missing, and in the last four years alone, over two dozen animals have died at the Marghazar Zoo.

Together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), FOUR PAWS has already safely relocated three wolves, several monkeys, and all the rabbits, that used to be kept in Marghazar Zoo, in Pakistan.

WAN is thankful that Marghazar Zoo will finally be closing its doors permanently and the animals there will no longer have to suffer.

Please help FOUR PAWS with Kaavan’s rescue by donating HERE! 

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Breaking! FOUR PAWS Rescues Animals From Horrific Marghazar Zoo In Pakistan After The Death Of Two Lions

Shocking footage of two lions fighting a fire in their small enclosure at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad has called global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS and local authorities to action.

Inexperienced animal handlers had set a fire in an attempt to force the big cats into transport crates. Unfortunately, both lions died as a result of smoke inhalation.

The lions were being transferred after a ground-breaking decision was made by the High Court in Islamabad to close the underfunded Marghazar Zoo. The decision was reached this past May because of the zoo’s insufficient keeping conditions.

Now, FOUR PAWS, the Pakistani Ministry of Climate Change, and the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) are working together to safely relocate the remaining animals. There are over 30 animals – two Himalayan brown bears, three wolves, twelve monkeys, one deer, and over fourteen rabbits – waiting to be saved.

An experienced team of FOUR PAWS veterinarians and experts, including Dr. Amir Khalil, are currently on site to prepare the animals for their departure. Unfortunately, poor keeping conditions have left their mark on the zoo animals.

“Before the two bears came to the zoo, they were forced to perform as so-called ‘dancing bears’ and their teeth had been removed. Together with the zoo vet, we already had to perform an emergency surgery on the female bear as she had a severely infected wound resulting from a recent tumour removal,” said Mission Leader and FOUR PAWS Veterinarian, Dr. Amir Khalil in a statement. “We have also noticed serious behavioural disorders in all of the animals. They are apathetic and at times aggressive.”

Among the more than 30 animals is an elephant named Kaavan, who achieved worldwide fame thanks to an international rescue campaign.

Kaavan came to Pakistan as a gift from Sri Lanka in 1985. The elephant shared an enclosure at the Marghazar Zoo with his partner Saheli until her passing in 2012. For eight long years Kaavan has lived a lonely existence.

In 2016, an international campaign to save Kaavan was launched. When the court in Islamabad ruled the closure of the zoo in May 2020, it was also decided that Kaavan should be taken to an animal sanctuary in or outside Pakistan, contingent on his medical condition. FOUR PAWS is now supporting the Pakistani government with the assessment of the elephant’s health status. Depending on the results, Kaavan might be relocated to a sanctuary later in the year. His future depends on the results of the medical exams being conducted by FOUR PAWS.

“We are grateful that the FOUR PAWS experts are in Islamabad to assist the local authorities with the medical assessment and relocation of the remaining animals at Marghazar Zoo,” said Dr. Anis ur Rahman, Chairman of IWMB. “These animals deserve a better future and we are happy to make this possible.”

“Our global FOUR PAWS team of animal experts and veterinarians are dedicated to bringing compassion and urgent care to animals in need anywhere in the world. We specialize in addressing some of the most challenging and unique animal welfare issues, often times going where no one else can or will go,” said Danika Oriol-Morway, FOUR PAWS USA Country Director.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! FOUR PAWS Rescues Animals From Horrific Marghazar Zoo In Pakistan After The Death Of Two Lions appeared first on World Animal News.

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