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Cher Saved "The World's Loneliest Elephant" This Weekend

NPR - Singer Cher was in Pakistan on Friday with a message for "the world's loneliest elephant": There is life after love.

Kaavan the elephant has been languishing in poor conditions in Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad since 1985, according to the animal welfare group Four Paws International. He was brought there as a gift from Sri Lanka at 1 year old.

Kaavan had a partner elephant, Saheli, who lived with him from 1990 to 2012. She died when an infection became gangrenous. A veterinarian with Four Paws told The Associated Press that Kaavan was heartbroken when she died. He's been alone ever since.

On Sunday, Kaavan will move to an animal sanctuary in Cambodia, where he will be able to socialize with other elephants.

Activists around the world, including local Pakistanis as well as Cher's charity, Free the Wild, have been campaigning for years for Kaavan's release. Cher wrote on Twitter that she met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to thank him for making it possible to move the elephant.

Cher has brought star power and media attention to Kaavan's move, but Four Paws is leading the collaborative operation to transport the 5-ton elephant.

"Transferring an adult elephant on a plane is something very, very rare," said Four Paws spokesperson Martin Bauer. Previous transfers he knows of have been much shorter distances between zoos in the U.S.

"An elephant transfer by plane on this scale I think has never happened before, so we are writing history here," he told NPR.

Fuckin love Cher. Not just because she's an all-time musical sensation, 

but also because she's a kind soul that's brought attention to a great initiative like this. 

Watch this and look how fucking happy this elephant is-

This poor guy's feet were so mangled from being constrained by fucking chains in filthy conditions that they were worried if he'd be able to walk around but it seems like he's doing just fine in his new sanctuary. 

Oh, and he'll have plenty of female companionship as well -

The sanctuary has three female elephants to keep Kaavan company. It's "the best hope for him," Bauer said.

"The goal is to socialize him. It will take a while because he has lived on his own for such a long time. But yes, ultimately the goal is to bring him together with other animals because that's what elephants want. They're herd animals, they always form families, and that's also what we plan for him."

Things are looking up for Kaavan indeed.

Not so much for the shit hole prison he was kept all these years thank God.

The Islamabad High Court ruled in May that the animals kept in Marghazar Zoo were held in cruel conditions and the zoo should be closed. In July a court approved the plan to move Kaavan to Cambodia.

Four Paws has been involved in relocating other animals from the zoo, including wolves, monkeys and rabbits, and plans to relocate bears next month.

Elephant fun facts - 

- Elephants communicate in a variety of ways - including sounds like trumpet calls (some sounds are too low for people to hear), body language, touch and scent. They can also communicate through seismic signals - sounds that create vibrations in the ground - which they may detect through their bones.

- The elephant's temporal lobe (the area of the brain associated with memory) is larger and denser than that of people - hence the saying 'elephants never forget'.

- If you trophy hunt or celebrate people who hunt elephants you are a scumbag of the highest order. Also, don't buy ivory. Around 90% of African elephants have been wiped out in the past century - largely due to the ivory trade - leaving an estimated 415,000 wild elephants alive today.

p.s.- love NPR throwing in a nice little pun - "Singer Cher was in Pakistan on Friday with a message for "the world's loneliest elephant": There is life after love."

p.p.s. - Cher was a babe back in the day

p.p.p.s. - 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

― Mahatma Gandhi