Kaavan is 32 years old, but the Asian elephant knows nothing about what it means to live on the outside world. He’s spent his entire life in a miserable enclosure at Murghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, and 28 of those years were spent locked up in chains. But thanks to a petition started last year, Kaavan is finally going to walk free.
The movement was started by Samar Khan, who became aware of Kaavan’s plight while visiting her family in Pakistan from her home in California last summer. She launched a petition on Change.org and her cause quickly escalated as people around the world became aware of Kaavan’s plight. In response to increasing pressure, in September 2015 zookeepers agreed to unshackle Kaavan and allow him to walk around his enclosure. It was a (physical) step closer to freedom but there was still a long way to go. But Kaavan’s struggle finally came to an end recently when the Free Kaavan team and the Help Welfare Organization presented Kaavan’s case before the Pakistan senate. The senate agreed with their arguments and decreed that Kaavan be moved to a sanctuary!
“Best update so far!” reads a post on the Free Kaavan the Elephant Facebook page. “After three decades of chains and neglect the standing senate chairman has approved our elephant Kaavan to be sent to sanctuary!”