‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ Held Captive In Chains For 35-Years Finally Given New Home With Friends

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An Asian elephant dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant” has been held in captivity for most of his life, but things are looking up for him —  finally.

Kaavan the elephant is finally getting the second chance at life he most certainly deserves. Asian elephants like Kaavan truly are an incredible species with deep family roots and amazing emotional connections with other elephants and humans.

The bad news…there are only under 50,000 of these elephants left in the wild and (sadly) in captivity. There are a few reasons for this.

The first is poaching – Like the African elephant, Asian elephants are relentlessly poached for their ivory tusks. And the second is the destruction of their natural habitat.

So back to the story of Kaavan.

Kaavan has lived a life in chains for the last thirty-five years. And has known nothing but “mental torment,” with the elephant regularly said to be seen swaying and bobbing his head in his enclosure. For many years, people have petitioned to free Kaavan the elephant from Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan.

Not only was Kaavan kept in chains but also showed symptoms of mental distress due to the enclosure.

Even big celebrity’s like Cher rallied for the release of Kaavan.

After Kaavan’s companion at the zoo died, Kaavan became incredibly withdrawn — even more so than he already was. This is what led to the title of ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’.

However, that all changed after Chief Justice, Athar Minallah ordered the release of Kaavan to a safe, sanctuary in Cambodia.

He said: “Neither are there adequate facilities nor resources to provide living conditions that would meet the behavioral, social, and physiological needs of the animals.

Ammar Pervaiz – part of a local animal welfare group – tweeted: “Finally, Kaavan is going to Cambodia! I can’t express how happy I am for Kaavan. Thank you to all the beautiful souls across the globe who raised their voice and showed their support especially IWMB and advocate Owais Awa.

Co-founder of Free the Wild, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, was ecstatic over the news.

[We] are delighted by the news from Pakistan regarding the relocation and retirement of Kaavan, Pakistan’s last remaining Asian elephant… after 5 years of relentless effort by Free the Wild and Team Kaavan.

Kaavan was medically cleared to make the journey to the new sanctuary and he now lives in a whole new, amazing place — without chains!