Help free Kaavan the elephant from 28 years of solitary confinement
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I came across Kaavan the Elephant while visiting the Murghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan. Kaavan was all alone, as he has been for the 28 years he’s been at this zoo. His legs were chained up to limit where he could move in his enclosure. But that didn’t seem to matter because for the entire time I was there Kaavan didn’t move. The only thing that moved was his head, as it bobbed repetitively from right and left, a behavior known as "weaving" which elephants adopt in response to stress and depression.
He cut a small, solitary figure against the backdrop of his shed, it was a sorry site. Despite his obvious discomfort, the zoo claims that Kaavan is used to his enclosure and doesn't mind it.
Kaavan needs our help. If enough of us put pressure on Pakistani authorities, we can get Kaavan released to an elephant sanctuary. The global outcry has already resulted in the government ordering the zoo to remove Kaavan’s chains.
Zoos such as this one rob elephants of their most basic needs. In the wild, elephants are active for 18 hours and roam up to 30 miles a day. They live in social herds, and form deep bonds with one another. Nothing even close is being offered to Kaavan at the Murghazar Zoo.
There isn't much time left, Kaavan already has gangrene susceptible gashes on his feet from the chains. Kaavan’s predecessor was Saheli, donated to the zoo by the Sri Lankan government. She died from gangrene and neglect. I don’t want the same fate to befall Kaavan, especially after a lifetime of solitude. It doesn’t have to. Together, we can give Kaavan the life he deserves.
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