May 22, Colombo: Cher, the Goddess of Pop and screen icon thanked the Pakistan after hearing that a Pakistani court ordered to free the lonely elephant gifted to a Pakistani zoo by Sri Lanka named Kaavan.
Expressing her delight in a series of tweets US Singer, who backed a high-profile rights campaign to free the 35-year-old elephant, said
“WE HAVE JUST HEARD FROM PAKISTAN HIGH COURT KAAVAN IS FREE,”, “THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE” after hearing the court’s verdict.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday held that animals in captivity at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad have been kept in conditions that amount to subjecting them to unnecessary pain and suffering and are thus in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1890 and the Wildlife Ordinance of 1979, The Dawn reported.
Hearing a petition of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board against the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), Chief Justice Athar Minallah said in his verdict that “Neither there are adequate facilities nor resources to provide living conditions that would meet the behavioral, social and physiological needs of the animals,” in the zoo.
The verdict regretted the Kaavan - the zoo’s lone elephant - has been treated cruelly by subjecting him to unimaginable pain and suffering for the past three decades and his continued captivity in the circumstances would expose the authorities to criminal consequences under the relevant laws.
Kaavan was gifted by Sri Lanka in 1985 when he was a year old and for more than 30 years, has been kept chained in a small enclosure, with inappropriate conditions required to meet his physiological, social and behavioral needs, according to Dawn.
The pain and suffering of Kaavan must come to an end by relocating him to an appropriate elephant sanctuary, in or outside the country, the verdict held, adding the chairman of the Board of Wildlife Management, constituted under the Wildlife Ordinance of 1979 should forthwith make arrangements, preferably in consultation with and the consent of the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to relocate Kaavan to a suitable sanctuary within 30 days. The board can seek assistance of experts and international entities or organizations in this regard.