‘World’s loneliest elephant’ makes a friend

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An elephant dubbed the “world’s loneliest” has been pictured making contact with another elephant for the first time in almost a decade after languishing alone in a Pakistan zoo for years.

The elephant, named Kaavan, has been relocated to a new sanctuary in Cambodia after singer Cher campaigned for him to be rescued.

He has spent 35 years in Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad without proper socialisation and has been on his own since his partner died in 2012.

The 36-year-old, 9,000lb elephant received a warm welcome by chanting Buddhist monks upon his arrival, before being sent on his way to a wildlife sanctuary.

He was then pictured making contact with another elephant with his trunk, seemingly keen to check out his fellow sanctuary residents.

In May, Pakistan’s high court ordered the closure of the zoo where the animal spent most of his life after it fell on hard times and was in poor condition.

The plight of the male Asian elephant, who has been alone since the death of his partner Saheli in 2012, has captured worldwide attention.

Cher’s animal welfare group Free the Wild has worked with Four Paws and the American syndicated columnist and philanthropist, Eric Margolis, to relocate Kaavan. She is also making a documentary film about the process.

Follow Kaavan’s story on Free Kaavan the Elephant Facebook page.

The mammoth task of getting Kaavan into an elephant-sized metal box for transport took several hours, and was perhaps the most crucial step in rescuing him from the dire conditions he has lived in for 35 years. Had Kaavan been spooked and refused to enter the cage or bolted, his departure could have been delayed for months while the rescue team sought to restore calm and trust before trying again, explained Martin Bauer, a spokesman for Four Paws International. The global animal welfare group has led the charge to save Kaavan since 2016.

Pic Credits: Free Kaavan the Elephant

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