Holding ground: Activists call for moving Kaavan to a sanctuary

Kaavan has recently been freed from shackles after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif intervened following a global outcry

Our Correspondent October 18, 2015
Kaavan has recently been freed from shackles after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif intervened following a global outcry PHOTO: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS


Animal lovers in Islamabad held another get together outside the enclosure of Kaavan, an Asian elephant at the city’s zoo kept in deplorable conditions, in support of their cause to move him to an animal sanctuary.

Nearly two dozen activists attended the gathering that lasted well over an hour.

Kaavan’s rehabilitation to sanctuary in doldrums

Earlier, the activists had announced to hold a protest but plans changed after CDA Member Administration Amer Ali Ahmad held a meeting over the issue last week.

Feryal Gohar, who is spearheading the campaign, said the protest had been called off for the time being as Ahmad assured them that “CDA will consider the option of moving Kaavan to an animal sanctuary.”

It was decided in the October 15 meeting that animal experts and a representative of Four Paws International (FPI), a UK-based animal welfare charity, will be meeting with CDA high-ups to explore workable options for Kaavan in the coming days.

Freedom: Kaavan unchained

“Based on the advice given by experts, the CDA will decide whether to move Kaavan to a sanctuary or otherwise,” Gohar said.

The next meeting between the experts and the city managers is yet to be scheduled.

Dr Amir Khalil of FPI is also scheduled to travel to Pakistan to attend the upcoming meeting, claims a Facebook post.

FPI has recently approached the city’s managers with an offer to transport this behaviourally challenged elephant to a sanctuary in Myanmar.

After three years in chains, Kaavan walks free

Kaavan has recently been freed from shackles after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif intervened following a global outcry. However, animal experts believe sending the elephant to an animal sanctuary is the only viable solution for his betterment as Islamabad Zoo lacks space and expertise to keep the animal.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.


Pia Fischer | 6 years ago | Reply The entire zoo should be closed down and the employees fired. Including the director. They have no education and empathy for animals. As long as the setting for how animals should be treated is not better, it is a disgrace for the Zoo to continue.
Carey | 6 years ago | Reply After his dreadful capture from his family group at such a young age, to be delivered a place like this zoo to live alone and entirely dependent on handlers that know little of elephant needs or even seemingly to care about them, to have had a life of being chained 24/7, of seeing his female companion of just 22 years die beside him from infections probably brought about from gangrene wounds to her legs during her own chaining, to having vetinary care that clearly is lacking - as it is to the other animals at this zoo - and for the CDA to still be considering keeping Kaavan at this place for the rest of his life is completely untenable. No wonder, as this article states, he is 'behaviourly challenged' I surely would be after that life of fear and mismanagement. The sancturary run by Four Paws is the very least he deserves, and the people of Islamabad should not have to witness this terrible site, elephants should not be kept like this - how does it educate people about elephants? There are other elephants around the world in bad captive situations too, and we are working for all of them. This has to stop! We know too much about them now to continue to act as if we dont.
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