Charan helps Kavan, a lone elephant, find new life after 35 years, and maybe even love

Charan helps Kavan, a lone elephant, find new life after 35 years, and maybe even love

Islamabad – The iconic chair of pop music was in Pakistan this weekend to join a lone elephant on his long-awaited voyage of liberation. Kawan, considered the world’s tallest elephant, has finally escaped captivity at a zoo in Islamabad and was on his way to a Cambodian wildlife exercise on Monday.

The American singer and actress has been campaigning for years to get the crows out of the Marghar Zoo. Together with American businessman Eric Margolis and the group Four Pow International, he helped pay for his rehabilitation through his charity, Free the Wild. Local Pakistani activists were the first to put Kavan’s plight on the chair’s radar with a Twitter campaign, targeting world-famous celebrities with the hashtags #sevakwan and #frica messages.

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On arrival at Cambodia from Siem Reap International Airport, Pakistan, on November 30, 2020, the US singer-chair appeared to Kawan in front of an Asian elephant basket.

Tight Chan Sothi / AFP / Getty


At the age of almost a year, Kawan was gifted to Pakistan by Sri Lanka in the mid-1980s. He spent decades in a small enclosure at the Islamabad Zoo and provided the necessary facilities for the physical or mental health of many such intelligent animals. He performed for visitors, allegedly offered by handlers to raise cash.

In 2012, Kawan lost his only mate, a female elephant, and his behavior deteriorated rapidly. He became angry, frustrated, and gave up his unhealthy diet, obesity.

Conditions at the zoo were so dire that a Pakistani court ordered its closure in May this year and the relocation of all animals. It made worldwide efforts to exclude animals, especially crows.

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Kawan Hathi was spotted on November 28, 2020 at the Margzar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he spent more than 30 years before moving to an animal shelter in Cambodia.

CBS / Maria Usman


When news of Kawan’s horrific condition reached the chair on Twitter, she reached out to Mark Cowan, a global talent agency boss with a passion for wildlife whom she met many years ago.

“He met Mark, who had sent 300 elephants earlier, and said, ‘Listen, we have to do something,’ so he came here and found out what’s going on, and he hoped. We can liberate the wild. “Get the big animals, at least start with the big animals at the zoo,” Jennifer Ruiz, an assistant to the animals, told CBS News in Islamabad.

Ruiz said the superstar had originally focused on trying to get the elephant out of the Los Angeles Zoo, but he hadn’t had much success in California. “So it came up and, you know, she always says to me, ‘You try your best with what’s in your lap.’ If anyone asks you, do your best. ”

Working with Free the Wild, a team of vets and experts from the UK-based international animal welfare group Four Povs has spent months on the site, working with Kavan to prepare him for his big move.

Hannah Baker, head of four-legged communications, told CBS News that the Cavs’ journey is the largest elephant transfer ever donated, and their first by air. Elephants, for example, moved from one state to another by ship, but can never be a large animal, nor is it logistically complex.

Overcoming all of this during the global pandemic has posed some unique challenges, but fortunately Cavan’s pre-flight COVID-19 test turned negative, and a 30-day isolation was arranged in Cambodia.

The crows’ new home is the huge Cullen Promotap Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia. Although it will be limited to just three acres for its quarantine period, it will be a significant upgrade as its enclosure at the Islamabad Zoo was only half an acre, and devoid of natural resources.

Farewell ceremony for crows, an elephant waiting to be taken to a site in Cambodia at the Margzar Zoo in Islamabad
Kawan was fed elephant food by a caregiver while waiting for his flight to Cambodia during a farewell ceremony at Margzar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, on November 23, 2020.

Saina Bashir / Ree Terz


Once he has completed his quarantine, he plans to get acquainted with the Elephant Elephant, and will have 25,000 acres to roam.

Rehabilitation with a new friend

Egyptian veterinarian Dr. Amir Khalil, director of Four Pouces International, is known for project development, protecting animals from war or disaster-affected areas. He has become Kavan’s best friend, having been in a close relationship with him for the past few months when the elephant was brought back to health for his journey.

“When I first met Kavan, he was overweight, had problems with his nails and was demonstrating what is known as stubborn behavior: animals need to go into slavery, but only if they are chained. They turn their heads from side to side for release. Endorphins and all their pants up. ”

Khalil told CBS News that the tragic behavior, which Kavan used to spend 15 hours a day, was mistakenly forgotten by his previous organizers when it came to dancing in Pakistan.

“My initial plan was just to work on examining the poems and enable them to travel, but for some reason he liked my voice,” said Khalil Tried to try. The beast to accept him. He would sing Frank Sintra’s songs while standing there, and long ago, he realized that Kavanagh was a fan of his “I did it my way”, and performances of other classics.

The elephant began to rely on animals, and Khalil often saw crows waiting for him.

“All relationships, whether between humans or between humans and animals, should be based on trust,” he said.

Pakistan's only elephant left for Cambodia in Islamabad
For Pav International’s head of project development, Dr. Amir Khalil stands outside a basket on November 29, 2020 at the Margzar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, before transporting an animal to Cambodia and feeding Kavan an elephant.

Saina Bashir / Ree Terz


Kavan’s diet plan was also important if he was going to enter his travel cage. He was spinning at 440 pounds of sugarcane per day, but Khalil knocked him on the head so quickly. On a higher diet of fresh fruits and vegetarian foods, Kawan fell below 5.5 tonnes to a healthy 4.8. The chains that often tied his legs for more than two decades were removed, forced demonstrations were abandoned and his daily work was made more natural. The changes made him a much calmer and happier elephant before his journey.

For the past four weeks, Kavanagh has been training her routine crate to get used to the custom-made travel cage – which she comfortably fits into her pale new body.

During the last two weeks, a festival of crows was celebrated at the Islamabad Zoo. There was a party and well-wishers were able to see him for the last time, saying goodbye to the animal that has been a major attraction for three decades. Many government officials stopped by to say goodbye, including President Arif Alvi, who visited on the weekend.

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Singer Chair (third from right) was inaugurated on November 28, 2020 by Dr. Veterinarian, International Director of Project Development at Four Powers International Charity. Accompanied by Amir Khalil, Kavan met an elephant at a zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan.

CBS / Maria Usman


On Saturday, finally taking the opportunity to serenade the music-lover and offer him a bite to eat, Cher finally met his elephant friend for the first time.

On Monday, a Russian cargo ship chartered for the trip toured Cambodia and the next chapter in Kavan’s life began.

Khalil said he hoped the elephant story would serve as a symbol of humanity and do the right thing for animals.

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Muhammad Wayne

About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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