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The world’s loneliest elephant has reached Cambodia safely after completing its journey in Pakistan. After a year in Pakistan, Kaavan’s destination is now Cambodia, an East Asian country. He will stay in residence in Siem Reap province; on this occasion, American singer Shearer also arrived in Cambodia with Kaavan.
According to authorities, Kaavann was airlifted to Cambodia for safety reasons. In this regard, Kaavan was anesthetized with a dot gun and placed in a container, after which the container was loaded on the plane.
Kaavan was accompanied by technical staff, including expert foreign doctors. Rangers, including wildlife management, were present at the zoo during Kaavan’s transfer.
Kaavan was flown to Cambodia by a Russian-made plane. Elephant Cowan of Marghzar Zoo Islamabad was ordered to be sent to Cambodia on court orders.
According to a notification issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, the donors confirmed the arrival of a particular DHL cargo plane in Islamabad for the departure of Kaavan.
The manager of Islamabad International Airport and ASF was also directed to provide all facilities for the transfer of Kaavan. The Ministry of Climate Change had also issued a certificate for the elephant’s departure abroad.
Kaavan was accompanied by a team of 2 foreign doctors and eight technical experts during his transfer to Cambodia. It is also worth mentioning here that the Islamabad High Court has decided to transfer HathiKaavan. A petition was filed in the court against the animals’ poor condition in the Marghzar Zoo and its distance from the natural environment.
Kaavan’s Story
Kaavan was born in 1981 in Sri Lanka. He was only four years old when the Sri Lankan government gifted him to Pakistan at the then-ruler General Zia-ul-Haq request.
When wool came to Pakistan, it was kept in the Marghzar Zoo in Islamabad, which became Kaavan’s home. Because Kaavan was the first and only elephant in the Islamabad Zoo, people would see him from afar, and children would climb Kaavan and take pictures with great enthusiasm. Even Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had ridden Kaavan in his childhood.
Kaavan’s Friend
Kaavan lived alone from 1981 to 1991, but his loneliness ended one morning in 1991, when the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia, gave an elephant to Pakistan as a gift, named Sahaili.
Like Kaavan, Sahaili was born in Sri Lanka in 1989 and was named Manika, but when she came to Pakistan, she was named Sahaili.
After Kaavan’s friend died in 2012, the helpless Kaavan was once again left alone. After that, Kaavan’s behavior began to change, and he hit his head on trees and walls.
What Happened to Kaavan?
The male elephant “Kaavan” at the zoo has suffered from severe depression due to loneliness since 1985. International and national campaigns have been launched for its protection for many years.
Kaavan’s story came to the world thanks to Samar Khan, a girl who came to Pakistan in 2015 when she went to the Islamabad Zoo with her mother and saw Kaavan in a state of mental confusion. Others could not assess Kaavan’s mental state. Still, Samar, who was becoming a veterinarian, understood Kaavan’s problem and returned to the United States, where Samar launched the Free Kaavan campaign through an online petition.
It took five years to decide in favor of 38-year-old Kaavan at the Marghzar Zoo.
On the other hand, the American singer Sher, who is one of the leading voices in favor of Kaavan, also made several tweets on Twitter’s social networking website. Shearer said she was happy with the court’s decision and wanted to come to Pakistan and thank the Pakistani government. In this regard, she also came to Pakistan and met Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Throughout this process, the head of the global NGO Free the Wild, Mark Con Kaavan, has been working for his release, who also visited Pakistan in 2017.
Arrival in Cambodia
Combo Dia Wildlife Park had arrived to receive Kaavan, after which preparations were made to move him there. All costs of relocation were borne by Free the Wild, while in return, the zoo’s management received world-class training.
Protests in Favor of Kaavan
Animal rights groups and Islamabad residents protested in front of the zoo for about six months, demanding that Kaavan be sent to a haven. Since then, during the last five years, voices have been raised for crows and other animals at different times.
Who Was the First to Raise a Voice for Kaavan?
The struggle for Kaavan was based on an online petition filed in 2015 by Samar Khan, a Pakistani-American.

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