For the first time in over eight years, Kaavan, the “world’s loneliest elephant,” shares a poignant moment with another elephant in a very heartwarming scenario!
Kaavan’s tale is one of the most tragic in the animal kingdom. However, after decades of suffering, the Sri Lankan elephant was relocated to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary in Siem Reap on Monday. For the first time in years, Kaavan encounters another elephant once he arrives. The gigantic creatures carefully reach their trunks through their confines in some really poignant footage and images. What a great greeting for Kaavan after everything he’d gone through!
“This is Kaavan’s first encounter with an elephant in eight years,” said Martin Bauer, a representative for the animal welfare organization that helped the elephant find a new home. “Kaavan will be able to enjoy a species-appropriate and serene existence for the first time. He’s got a great future ahead of him.”
Kaavan has a tumultuous history. The 36-year-old elephant spent nearly 35 years of his life in chains at Pakistan’s Maraghazar Zoo. Kaavan’s sole solace during those years of mistreatment and neglect was his buddy, Shaheli. Unfortunately, she died eight years ago, and Kaavan has been alone ever since.
His redemption occurred last year, following a worldwide effort that began in 2016. Animal welfare organizations, charities, activists, and even the government became engaged in the effort to release Kaavan. Fortunately, their efforts were rewarded in the end!
After a ten-hour trip and military escort, the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ landed at a much nicer and serene environment earlier this morning. Kaavan will be released into a wildlife refuge after a brief rehabilitation period. Kaavan has finally been given the opportunity to live a quiet life among his peers.
“Once Kaavan feels at comfortable in a supervised environment, he will be released in a wildlife sanctuary in Oddar Meanchey province, in Cambodia’s northern region, where approximately 600 Asian elephants dwell in peace and tranquility,” a Cambodian Environment Ministry spokeswoman said in a statement.