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Kaavan

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Animal

The Resume

    (1985- )
    Born in Sri Lanka
    Was a gift from Sri Lanka to Pakistan
    Resided at the Islamabad Zoo
    Samar Khan, a US veterinarian, started an internet petition calling for his release from the zoo (2015)
    Came to the attention of Cher, who joined the social media campaign (2016)
    Subject of the Cher song ‘Walls’ (2017)
    Relocated to a wildlife refuge in Cambodia (November, 2020)
    Subject of the Smithsonian Channel/Paramount+ documentary ‘Cher and the Loneliest Elephant’ (2021)

Why he might be annoying:

    He killed two keepers.
    He developed pathological, repetitive behaviors, namely incessant rocking.
    Although the media focused primarily on Cher’s involvement, his release was largely the doing of Owais Awan, a Pakistani lawyer who filed a suit against the zoo asking the courts to recognize the rights of nonhuman animals.
    His relocation was even more complicated than normal since it came in the middle of the Coivd-19 epidemic.
    He had to diet to meet the weight restrictions for air transport.
    When she met him, Cher serenaded him ‘really badly’ with ‘My Way.’

Why he might not be annoying:

    He was kept chained in a small enclosure.
    His companion, Saheli, died of gangrene from an infection caused by her chains, leaving him alone (2012).
    The Islamabad High Court not only ordered Kaavan freed, it ordered the closure of the Islamabad Zoo for being in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
    The team relocating him received permission to fly though usually restricted Indian airspace and received a special permit to land at a Cambodian airport that had been closed for six months because of Covid-19.
    Amir Khalil, the veterinarian who headed the relocation effort, said, ‘Kaavan united many people worldwide with his positive message of hope and possibility.’

Credit: C. Fishel


Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 4 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2021, Out of 12 Votes: 25.00% Annoying