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World’s loneliest elephant gains company


Kaavan drinks water at Kulen Prom Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia on Tuesday. Associated Press/via Cambodia's Environment Ministry

World’s loneliest elephant gains company

Kaavan, a five-ton Asian elephant, arrived at a Cambodian animal sanctuary on Monday after eight years of solitude. Sri Lanka gifted the 36-year-old elephant to Pakistan in 1985. Kaavan lived at a zoo in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad with his partner Saheli, who died in 2012. The Pakistani government closed down the zoo in August due to poor conditions.

What’s next for Kaavan? He will spend some time in quarantine before caretakers gradually introduce him to three female Asian elephants at the refuge. Amir Khalil with the Vienna-based animal group Four Paws told Al Jazeera that although she bonded with Kaavan, “with other elephants he can have more friends that speak the same language.” His relocation followed efforts by Cher, U.S. businessman Eric Margolis, and Four Paws.

Dig deeper: Read updates on Kaavan’s adjustment to his new life at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.


Samantha Gobba

Samantha is a freelancer for WORLD Digital. She is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute, holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hillsdale College, and has a multiple-subject teaching credential from California State University. Samantha resides in Chico, Calif., with her husband and their two sons.

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