The "World's Loneliest Elephant" is granted a
second chance at life at his new home in Cambodia.
MP: Kaavan's first day at his new temporary enclosure in Cambodia.
Kaavan’s story captured the hearts of people around the world! It was an epic journey that followed years of campaigning by animal rights activists, concerned citizens and animal lovers like Pakistani student, Samar Khan. The plight of this Asian elephant eventually gained international attention thanks to American pop diva, Cher, and her organization Free The Wild, all of which led to Kaavan's relocation mission from Pakistan to Cambodia a few days ago. Led by Dr. Amir Khalil of the global animal welfare organization Four Paws, Kaavan's relocation mission was the organization's heaviest rescue mission to date. Thanks to the commendable determination, collaboration and efforts of countless people involved, including government officials, citizen negotiators and donors - Kaavan has arrived and begun his new chapter in life in Cambodia!
Earlier this year, the Islamabad High Court ordered that Kaavan be freed from his sad 35-year life of captivity at rundown zoo in Pakistan, thus confirming plans to relocate the 36-year-old elephant to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary The Asian elephant, who had suffered and displayed signs of distress after the passing of his partner Saheli in 2012, embarked his epic journey towards a better life on Sunday.
After a long and complex journey and flight, Kaavan - dubbed the "world's loneliest elephant", touched down on Cambodian soil at the Siem Reap International Airport mid-afternoon - on Monday, November 30th, 2020. Following a warm welcome and a blessing by Buddhist monks, Kaavan was then lifted onto a flatbed truck and transported safely to his new enclosure at the wildlife sanctuary about 100km north of Siem Reap.
It was the happy ending of a tragic story that made global headlines and was celebrated around the world!!!
I, like countless animal lovers around the world, was beyond thrilled - and on Monday, honoured to have had the privilege of witnessing and documenting Kaavan's arrival in Siem Reap and those first precious moments of his new chapter in life.
HERE'S A SHORT SEQUENCE OF VIDEOS THAT I PRODUCED (on the run) AS THE STORY OF KAAVAN'S ARRIVAL UNFOLDED IN CAMBODIA...
01: A brief introduction in anticipation of Kaavan's departure from
his zoo enclosure in Pakistan:
02: A visit to Kaavan's new home in Cambodia - on the before his arrival: (NOV.29.2020)
03: Kaavan arrives and touches down on Cambodian soil! (NOV.30.2020)
(This piece was created by night after an incredibly exciting day and Kaavan's transfer from the airport to the sanctuary located 100km north if Siem Reap. *I was very tired and had to whisper
into my phone for this piece - aka, please forgive my voice.)
04: Kaavan's first full day at his new temporary enclosure at the
Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary. (DEC.01.2020)
(Here are my first day images of Kaavan and a few clips from my chat with Darrick Thompson.)
05: Dr. Amir Khalil sings for Kaavan moments before leaving
Siem Reap, Cambodia. (DEC.05.2020)
(This is a brief and fun clip regarding Dr. Amir's singing which forged a bond between the Four Paws veterinarian and Kaavan while in Pakistan.)
06: One week ago - Kaavan arrived at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary. Here he is today... (DEC.06.2020)
(Kaavan has been alone since the passing of his partner Saheli in 2012...this moment, shared with female elephant Di-Poh, melted my heart today...)
...and a few images from KAAVAN's arrival and transfer to his new home.
To all the beautiful people who joined me and followed along as Kaavan embarked on the final leg of his long journey here in Cambodia - I sincerely THANK YOU!!!
I will soon present you with a clean package of what I captured here in Cambodia, but I also believe that this is much more than a one-day news story...
I have a much bigger project in mind - one that begs the question:
"In this day and age, how can we still allow this to happen?"
Kaavan's story is an amazing success story, but we cannot - and should not lose momentum!
Countless animals continue to suffer in cruel forms of captivity - from Canada's "safari
adventure" elephants, to the animals and primates, including Bua Noi (a gorilla held captive for nearly three decades) at the horrific Pata Zoo in Bangkok (that I visited and was chased out of last year).
AS WE CELEBRATE KAAVAN'S incredible journey to a better life,
let's not lose momentum!!!
Again, I sincerely thank you for your interest!
If you would like to support my independent work please do not hesitate to get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit my Patreon page. Again, a profound and sincere THANK YOU!