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Elephant Living in Chains for 30 Years in a Pakistani Zoo to be Set Free after Court Order

Kavaan, an elephant kept in chains for 30 years in Pakistani Zoo finds new home.  Credit: Twitter

Kavaan, an elephant kept in chains for 30 years in Pakistani Zoo finds new home. Credit: Twitter

The Islamabad High Court recently ordered the zoo to free the elephant after petitions filed by animal rights welfare activists.

Kaavan, a 35-year-old male elephant, is finally set to end his captivity inside a poorly maintained zoo in Pakistan after a historic court order on May 22 by the Islamabad High Court.

For decades, the elephant stayed in the Zoo of Islamabad in Pakistan. Many activists have been asking for his care for years, arguing that he has been ill-treated in the zoo, triggering emotional illness symptoms.

He was all alone because his only companion died a few years before, making matters worse.

Following protests by animal rights campaigners who outrage and petitioned for the freedom of the elephant, the court ruled in May that it was appropriate to free Kaavan from the zoo.

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The court ruled that the elephant be relocated from the Islamabad Zoo to a sanctuary where he can roam free.

"Neither is there adequate facilities nor resources to provide living conditions that would meet the behavioral, social and physiological needs of the animals," said Chief Justice Athar Minallah, while ordering the release of the animal.

As Pakistan does not have a suitable place for the elephant to be released, Pakistani authorities selected an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia to be Kaavan’s new home.

Free the Wild had been actively involved in the release of Kaavan for several years.

"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," said Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, co-founder of Free the Wild, reported Times Now.