ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has issued visas to three international wildlife experts for health examination of Islamabad zoo’s lone elephant ‘Kaavan’ before taking the decision of its expected relocation to Cambodia, ARY News reported on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s embassy in Thailand issued visas to three international wildlife experts for detailed check-up of ‘Kaavan’, the lone elephant at Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo.
International experts will arrive in Pakistan within a few days for preparing a final report regarding the elephant’s health, confirmed the Ministry of Climate Change. On basis of the report of international experts, the authorities will finalise a plan to relocate Kaavan to an appropriate sanctuary in Cambodia.
In 1985, a year-old Kaavan had been gifted by Sri Lanka and since he had been chained and captivated for more than three decades in a small enclosure in Islamabad zoo.
Some wildlife experts revealed in 2016 that the 32-year-old Asian elephant was suffering from “mental illness”, and without a better habitat, his future is bleak even if a long-promised new mate finally arrives.
Outrage over Kaavan’s treatment had gone global — with a petition garnering over 200,000 signatures — after it emerged he was being chained at the Islamabad Zoo. The zoo officials have said this is no longer the case, and that Kaavan just needs a new mate after his previous partner died in 2012.
Later on May 21, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had issued a verdict for the relocation of the elephant and all other remaining animals to appropriate sanctuaries.
Earlier in July, the court had approved plans to relocate distressed Asian elephant Kaavan from Islamabad Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia. The move would allow Kaavan, the only elephant in the Pakistani capital, to interact with over 80 pachyderms in the Cambodian park while under the care of wildlife experts, reported foreign news agency.
Activists around the world have campaigned for Kaavan’s release, accusing Islamabad zookeepers of keeping him isolated, chained up, and not providing the large animal with proper shelter and relief during hot summer months.