Kavaan at his sanctuary in Cambodia Kavaan spent more than 30 years in a zoo before he was moved to a sanctuary - Media Credit: Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary

Formerly The ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant,’ Kavaan Enjoys Happy New Life In Cambodia

Global superstar Cher helped with Kavaan's initial rescue

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2 Minutes Read

Kavaan used to be known as the “world’s loneliest elephant.” Now, he appears to be living a much more joyful life.

The 37-year-old animal now lives at Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia, where he was recently filmed splashing and relaxing in the pool.

Many were pleased and relieved to see Kavaan enjoying his new home, after spending 35 years of his life in captivity at Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan. There, it’s thought the elephant suffered from loneliness, malnourishment, and physical injuries due to neglect and inadequate housing.

In 2016, Kavaan caught the attention of global superstar Cher. She then campaigned consistently for his rescue and relocation to a sanctuary. (A documentary about her involvement, called Cher and the Loneliest Elephant, was released last year.)

In 2020, Kavaan was finally moved to his new home in Cambodia. Cher, who was present for his relocation, said: “He’s so happy there. I knew it the moment we let him out of the crate.”

‘Now he’s home’

The new sanctuary regularly posts videos of Kavaan on its social media. It also regularly uploads images and videos of his elephant companions, Sarai Mia and DiPloh.

Sometimes, Kavaan is relaxing in the forest or the watering hole. Sometimes he’s in his pool, and sometimes he’s munching on bananas. But all the videos have one thing in common: Kavaan seems relaxed and happy.

Fans can also sponsor Kavaan on the elephant nonprofit The Gentle Giants website. The money helps to pay his caretaker’s wages and food bills.

Kavaan’s page reads: “Our gorgeous boy Kaavan was born in Sri Lanka and gifted to Pakistan at the tender age of one. Kaavan suffered terrible neglect and cruelty for 35 years. But now he’s home.”

“He’s at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary where he will live the rest of his natural life knowing kindness, compassion, and love from his own kind and the humans who care for him.”

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The Author

Charlotte Pointing

Charlotte writes about sustainable beauty, fashion, and food. She spent more than 4 years editing in leading vegan media, and has a degree in history and a postgraduate in cultural heritage.

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