Elephants are social animals. They thrive with connection and maintain friendships and familial relationships their whole lives. Well, most do. One elephant, sometimes referred to as the “world’s loneliest elephant,” was deprived of any social interaction for eight grueling years. But that elephant, named Kaavan, was finally granted the basic need of connection – and it was all caught on video.
Kaavan, a 36-year-old bull Asian elephant originally from India, spent 35 years in captivity. The whole time, he suffered heartbreaking neglect at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan. After losing his partner in 2012, he was in isolation. That is until celebrity musician Cher fought to free Kaavan from his bondage.
Kaavan was finally freed from the zoo and transported to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary. The transport required a special crate to accommodate his size and required special planning in advance. But according to Sky News, Kaavan’s designated veterinarian, Amir Khalil, reported that the massive elephant remained quite calm en route to the sanctuary. It was a smooth trip, mostly thanks to Kaavan’s relaxed demeanor.
The lonely elephant quickly adapted to his new surroundings. And best of all, he got to make friends with another elephant for the first time in eight years.
The sanctuary was able to capture the heartwarming moment that Kaavar approached Di Poh, another elephant residing there. They both reached out and touched each other’s trunks – a display of new friendship.
They said, “We can now officially call him the ‘former loneliest elephant in the world’!”
A staff member at the sanctuary named Pedro shared with Stuff.co.nz that Kaavan will have the opportunity to interact with other elephants as well. He explained that there are three particular female elephants that will be introduced to him, but they need a bit of time to build up to that.
We’re so glad that Kaavan can live out the rest of his years with the love and social interaction he deserves.
Watch the touching video below:
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