Officials and well-wishers threw a farewell party for Pakistan’s only Asian elephant Kaavan ahead of his relocation to Cambodia.
The relocation comes after years of campaigning from animal activists, advocates and even pop star Cher to rescue the animal from grim conditions with no companion.
To mark the occasion, the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, where Kaavan has lived for decades since arriving from Sri Lanka, was decorated with balloons and banners wishing the animal well.
Several pictures and videos that are now making the rounds of the internet show children posing for photos while local bands performed in front of the enclosure.
Watch the video here:
Officials and well-wishers gathered at Islamabad Zoo for a farewell party for Pakistan’s lonely elephant Kaavan 🐘 before he sets off for a new life in Cambodia this week https://t.co/8iAKjJq0BR pic.twitter.com/HHzXuCtzEU
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 24, 2020
Officials, including lawmakers and Pakistan’s climate change minister, were in attendance for the farewell party, Reuters reported.
The plight of the 35-year-old bull elephant also brought into the light, the grim conditions of Islamabad’s zoo. According to an AFP report, the conditions were so bad that a judge in May ordered all the animals to be moved.
Take a look at how people reacted to the news of relocation here:
A humane gesture indeed!
— AA (@DurianNetizen) November 24, 2020
That swaying back and forth is indicative of mental distress in elephants. I hope where he is going is peaceful, and free from stress and abuse.
— Robin DesCamp (@AskDesCamp) November 24, 2020
Travel safe Kaavan.
— Cheryl Tuckett (@cltkidlit) November 24, 2020
That’s So Awesome! 😄Blessings and ☮️ Peace and ❤️ Love
— Leah Gomez (@LeahGom37145955) November 24, 2020
I would love to see his arrival at his new home and sees other elephants. Pure joy!
— JoAnn Emch (@yknotsoar) November 24, 2020
For anyone who cares, Kaavan is 35 years old. People have been trying to release him since 2015
— Marcello King (@mechage) November 25, 2020
— esther torres (@caribeesther) November 25, 2020
— Mschanandlerqbong (@Chanandlerqbong) November 25, 2020
— M. E. Brown (@Botanicalsrock) November 25, 2020
Thank God. Finally.
— Phantom Thompson (@TorusPalatinus) November 25, 2020
The animal will be flown to Cambodia on November 29, according to a spokesman for Pakistan’s ministry of climate change, where he will be living on a 25,000-acre animal sanctuary.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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