Video: Elephant once dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest’ has summer fun at Cambodian wildlife sanctuary

·2 min read

A wholesome video of an animal dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant” is bringing joy to the internet.

In the Instagram clip shared by Save Elephant Foundation on Thursday, 37-year-old rescue elephant Kaavan can be seen enjoying his stay at the 25,000-acre Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia.

The 9,000-pound creature, who languished for over 30 years while in captivity at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, was transferred to the Cambodian sanctuary in 2020 after a collective effort that took four years and cost around $400,000.

These days, Kaavan spends his afternoons cooling himself off in the water, as shown in Save Elephant Foundation’s recent Instagram video.

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“On a very hot afternoon at @cambodiawildlifesanctuary Kaavan shows us his favourite way to relax and cool down,” the video’s caption says.

Sri Lanka gave Kaavan as a gift to Pakistan in 1985 when he was only a year old. He spent his last eight years in the zoo by his lonesome after Saheli, his partner of 22 years, died in 2012. Kaavan reportedly suffered from mental health issues following Saheli’s death.

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Martin Bauer, a representative for Vienna-based animal welfare organization Four Paws, noted that Kaavan would throw his head from side to side, indicating signs of boredom and misery.

Kaavan’s plight earned him the moniker of “world’s loneliness elephant,” capturing global attention.

The campaign to relocate Kaavan started in 2016 with Four Paws, philanthropist Eric Margolis and Free The Wild, an animal welfare organization co-founded by iconic singer Cher, leading the effort.

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In May 2020, amid growing international support, the Islamabad High Court ordered local wildlife officials to work with Sri Lanka to find Kaavan a “suitable sanctuary.”

Those who have been following Kaavan’s story were delighted to see the animal in his new habitat.

“He couldn’t do that at his previous home; it is wonderful seeing him with the space and facilities to relax and to keep cool,” one Instagram user commented.

“A complete change from his past, he is now living free and acting as any elephant should. Wild!,” another chimed in.

 

Featured Image via Save Elephant Foundation