Cher serenades ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ with iconic Cinderella song after flying to Pakistan to help save him
Cher has serenaded the “world’s loneliest elephant” Kavaan with a song from Cinderella, and we are truly not worthy.
The “Believe” singer flew to Pakistan on 27 November to meet Kavaan, the elephant who has captured the hearts of animal rights activists across the world.
Cher has been a vocal advocate for Kavaan since 2016, with international activists rallying around the elephant in an effort to save him from a life of solitude and mistreatment at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad.
In a heart-wrenching video shared online, Cher can be seen serenading Kavaan with “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella.
In the beautiful clip, Cher sings to Kavaan: “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”
When she finished the song, Cher asked Kavaan: “Well what do you think? It wasn’t very good, I have to say, I did my best.”
After serenading Kavaan, Cher flew with the elephant to Cambodia, where he was greeted by Buddhist monks. He had to be tested for COVID-19 before his flight.
He was comfortable throughout his seven-hour flight, and was able to eat food and get some sleep in his crate, according to Amir Khalil, a veterinarian working with animal rights group Four Paws, who accompanied Cher and the elephant on the flight.
Cher has been fighting to free Kavaan, the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’, for years.
Cher first became involved with the campaign to free Kavaan in 2016, when footage of the elephant chained in his tiny habitat – measuring just 80 by 140 metres – went viral online, drawing condemnation from animal rights organisations.
When the Islamabad high court ordered that Kavaan be released in May, Cher tweeted: “This is one of the greatest moments of my life.”
Cher met with the Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, on 27 November and thanked him for “making it possible” for her to accompany Kavaan to Cambodia.
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The 36-year-old elephant tragically lost his partner in 2012, and his mental health has been on a downward spiral ever since. He has taken to shaking his head back and forth for hours at a time, a behaviour experts believe he may have developed due to extreme boredom.
As the only elephant in the Islamabad zoo, Kavaan was completely isolated from his own species – a move that animal rights activists said was having a detrimental impact on his mental and physical wellbeing.
Four Paws, an animal advocacy organisation, has been working tirelessly for years to rescue Kavaan from a life of neglect and solitude.
Veterinarian Amir Khalil praised Cher for her involvement in the campaign last week, telling media: “Celebrities lending their voices to good causes are always welcomed, as they help starting public discourse and raising pressure on responsible authorities.
“Around the globe there are animal lovers, famous and not famous, and the support of every single one of them is crucial.”