Phnom Penh, Cambodia-Kaavan is known as the “loneliest elephant in the world” after years of struggling alone in the Pakistan zoo. On Monday, he chanted Buddhist monks to greet him and was sent to a wildlife sanctuary.
Like other travelers during this period, elephants need to be tested for Covid-19 before flying. Once his large metal box was safely on board, Kaavan was provided with in-flight snacks (of which 440 pounds), which lasted 7 hours.
Amir Khalil, a veterinarian who accompanied him and worked with the Vienna-based animal rescue organization Four Paws, said that Kavan did not feel stressed during the flight, eating or even standing Can̵
“He behaves like someone who travels a lot. The flight went very smoothly. This is everything you ask for when transferring the elephant.” Khalil said.
When the 36-year-old, 9,000-pound elephant arrived in Cambodia, he was warmly welcomed by officials, environmentalists and monks, who prayed for their harmony and prosperity.
Kaavan was a gift from Sri Lanka to Pakistan in 1985. He lived with his partner Saheli in the Maghazza Zoo in Islamabad, who died in 2012. The zoo was in trouble during difficult times and the situation became so bad that a court in the Pakistani capital ordered the zoo to be closed in August.
The plight of Asian male elephants has attracted worldwide attention, including American singer and actor Cher. Scheer has been closely involved in his rescue efforts and has assisted in the arrival of Kaavan in Cambodia.
Cher’s animal welfare organization “Free the Wild” worked with “Four Paws” and the American syndicated columnist and philanthropist Eric Margolis to relocate Kaavan— The cost of this task is approximately US$400,000.
According to the Four Paws newspaper, few adult elephants have been relocated by plane, so preparations are very difficult.
Veterinarians and elephant experts working for Four Claws spent three months in Islamabad, conducting three coaching trainings for Kaavan every day to safely get in and out of his four-ton suitcase, which includes a capacity of 53 Gallon urine system.
He is also overweight because it is inappropriate to consume about 550 pounds of sugar cane every day. With the help of Khalil, Kaavan has lost 1,000 pounds in the past three months.
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Kaavan’s wound is both emotional and physical. Four-claw spokesman Martin Bauer said that he would wave his head all day, which is the stereotype of elephants being bored and painful.
The loss of his partner Saheli damaged Kaavan’s mental health. Bauer explained that elephants are social animals that grow up in the company of other elephants.
Kaaven was driven by a truck to a camp in northern Cambodia late Monday, and he should be able to leave the crate on Tuesday.