Kaavan, the world’s loneliest elephant was recently moved from Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After being alone in an enclosure for eight years, he made his first friend.
Global superstar Cher was made aware of Kaavan’s heartbreaking story and pushed for his release from the soon-to-be-defunct zoo.
The nonprofit co-funded by Cher, Free the Wild, along with global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, Four Paws, American businessman Eric S. Margolis and the Pakistani authorities worked together to get Kaavan free.
Cher made sure she was in Cambodia to welcome him to his new country. The moment Kaavan was in the wildlife sanctuary with over 600 other elephants, he reached out to the first elephant he saw, the AFP reports.
He extended “a tentative trunk to the elephant residing near his current enclosure,” PEOPLE.com wrote.
A spokesperson for Four Paws named Martin Bauer spoke to the AFP and said, “First contact with an elephant in eight years – this is a huge moment for Kaavan.” Bauer added, “Kaavan will finally have the chance to live a species-appropriate and peaceful life. He has a very bright future ahead of him.” Martin also mentioned that seeing Kaavan’s first interaction with another elephant in eight years was a very moving experience.
As of right now, he is in a small enclosure as he begins to get comfortable with his new surroundings. Once he begins to show signs of being comfortable, he will be moved to a new space with three new female friends.
Lead image via Four Paws.