Kavaan the lonely elephant currently being kept in defunct Islamabad Zoo – is likely to be shifted to a sanctuary in Cambodia in November after its expected recovery from nail infection and psychological problems.
A special container will reach Pakistan in the next few days that will be used to bring Kaavan to Cambodia. But before its departure, Kaavan will be given eight-week training in which it will be taught to adjust and keep itself healthy in the container.
Elephant specialist Frank Goeritz has analysed blood samples of Kaavan and found nothing wrong with its overall health condition. All its body parts are in good condition including trunk, tusk, eyes, head, ear, mouth, lips, tail, legs, feet and skin. The weight of Kaavan has increased up to five-and-a-half ton because it was kept in a cage and chains and never allowed to move around. Animal rights organisation Four Paws will finally determine whether Kaavan is safe to travel after Islamabad High Court ruled in May that all animals at Islamabad Zoo must be set free or transferred to a better environment.
Amir Khalil, a veterinary doctor, said nail infection to any elephant is considered too dangerous but, fortunately, they started medical treatment of Kaavan on time otherwise this ailment could have taken its life. He said: “When I came in contact with Kaavan, it was moving head on right and left side for 18 hours in a day due to which it was going through various psychological issues. Now it feels quite better and also developed a positive change in its behaviour otherwise it was infamous for its aggression towards the employees of the zoo”.
Deputy director at the climate change ministry Muhammad Saleem said the ministry has directed Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) officials to strictly ensure all-out care for Kaavan while undertaking the re-location in the light of decision of the Islamabad High Court.