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  1. #1
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    Cher tweets joy as Pakistan agrees to free lonely elephant Kaavan

    ISLAMABAD: There seems to be no end to the suffering of Kavaan – the lone elephant at the Marghazar Zoo – as the animal spent an entire chilly and rainy night in the moat on Thursday.

    Officials in the zoo said Kavaan fell into the moat on Thursday evening and was pulled out after breaking the front wall of the moat on Friday morning.

    However, there were conflicting reports about how the elephant ended up in the moat.

    Some officials claimed that the elephant was deliberately brought down to the moat by a zoo official to make it an issue.

    They said there was no sign to indicate that the animal slipped into the moat. They also said Kavaan remained in the ditch standing. None of the zoo officials deputed with Kavaan were present on duty.

    However, a number of zoo officials confirmed to Dawn that the elephant remained in the moat the whole night in the rain.

    “We are going to hold an inquiry into the incident. If it is established that the animal was brought down into the ditch deliberately, strict disciplinary action will be taken against the guilty official,” said Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz.

    He said after hectic efforts, the animal was brought back to its enclosure.

    “During inquiry everything will become clear,” Mr Aziz said, adding that CCTV cameras would be installed in the elephant enclosure.

    Last year, seven nilgais died in the zoo after consuming poisonous food as determined in the autopsy reports.

    Sources said there were some people who carried out such incidents to safeguard their interests.

    A zoo official, on condition of anonymity, said the animal was a source of income for some staff members who allegedly took money from the visitors to arrange sugarcane for the animal. Whereas sugarcanes are purchased from official funds, he added.

    However, another official of the zoo claimed that this practice had stopped now and an inquiry was underway in a previous case.

    In the past, the zoo staff used to collect money from visitors, he added.

    Kavaan gained international fame after its case was taken up by animal rights activists, including American singer Cher.

    The animal does not have an enclosure large enough so that it can move freely and the three-walled structure made for it does not provide adequate shade in summer.

    The animal has been living alone eversince its partner Saheli died in 2012 reportedly due to negligence of the zoo staff.

    Though promises had been made to arrange another elephant for the zoo, so far no step has been taken in this regard.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1538929


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  2. #2
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    Music icon Cher marked "ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE" Thursday after a Pakistani court ordered freedom for a lonely elephant named Kaavan, who had become the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by the US singer.

    "WE HAVE JUST HEARD FROM PAKISTAN HIGH COURT KAAVAN IS FREE," Cher tweeted, adding a string of emojis and saying she felt "SICK".

    "THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE," the effusive singer continued.

    The Islamabad High Court has ordered wildlife officials to consult with Sri Lanka to find Kaavan a "suitable sanctuary" within 30 days, tweeted the Friends of Islamabad Zoo, which described itself as a group of citizens concerned about animal welfare at the zoo.

    Outrage over treatment of Kaavan, an Asian elephant originally from Sri Lanka, went global several years ago with a petition garnering over 200,000 signatures after it emerged he was being chained at the Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan's leafy capital.

    Zoo officials later said this was no longer the case, and that he just needed a new mate after his previous partner died in 2012.

    But experts have told AFP previously that without a better habitat his future was bleak, even if a long-promised new mate finally arrives.

    His behaviour -- including signs of distress such as bobbing his head repeatedly -- demonstrates "a kind of mental illness", Safwan Shahab Ahmad of the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation told AFP in 2016.

    Activists said he had insufficient shelter from Islamabad's searing summer temperatures, which can rise to above 40 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).

    Asian elephants can roam thousands of kilometres through deep tropical and subtropical forests, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

    In contrast, Kaavan's 90 by 140 metre (100 by 150 yard) pen had almost no foliage, and only limited shade was provided.

    Arriving as a one-year-old in 1985 from Sri Lanka, Kaavan was temporarily held in chains in 2002 because zookeepers were concerned about increasingly violent tendencies, but he was freed later that year after an outcry.

    His mate Saheli, who arrived also from Sri Lanka in 1990, died in 2012, and in 2015 it emerged that Kaavan was regularly being chained once more -- for several hours a day.

    Scores of people signed a petition sent to zoo authorities and Pakistan's then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in protest.

    A second petition circulated in 2016 and backed by over 200,000 animal-lovers from across the globe demanded Kaavan's release to a sanctuary.

    Cher, who for years has spoken out about Kaavan's plight, tweeted her thanks to the Pakistani government, adding "it's so emotional for us that I have to sit Down".

    https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/cher-...an-doc-1s13hl2


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  3. #3
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    ISLAMABAD: 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.

    “Neither there are adequate facilities nor resources to provide living conditions that would meet the behavioural, social and physiological needs of the animals,” read a verdict authored by Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

    While deciding a petition of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board against the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), 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 the physiological, social and behavioural needs of this extraordinary species of living beings.

    Court rules that Islamabad zoo’s animals have been kept in conditions that violate Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Wildlife Ordinance

    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 organisations in this regard.

    Similarly the board will also relocate all the remaining animals to their respective sanctuaries within 60 days from the date of receiving a certified copy of this judgment, the court said.

    The board will also take over the management of the zoo whereas MCI and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) chief commissioner will assist the board till the animals have been relocated.

    The minster in charge of the Ministry of Climate Change and members of the board will jointly be liable for the welfare and wellbeing of each animal till their relocation to their respective sanctuaries, the judgment held.

    The board will not keep any new animal in the zoo till a reputable international agency or organisation specialising in matters relating to zoological gardens has certified that the facilities and resources are available to provide for the needs of each species of animals, the judgment said.

    The board will inspect any other zoo established in ICT to ascertain the treatment of animals and take measures in accordance with the law.

    Likewise the black bear, confiscated by the board will continue to stay in the bear sanctuary because it was in illegal possession in ICT, the judgment said, adding the board will be assisted by the Islamabad chief commissioner and the inspector general of police in order to enforce the provisions of the Wildlife Ordinance.

    The board will also ensure and take appropriate measures to enforce the provisions of the relevant laws so that no animal is treated in a manner that subjects it to unnecessary pain and suffering, the verdict observed.

    Similarly the federal government will also consider advising the respective provincial governments to include in the curriculum of Islamic Studies religious teachings regarding the importance of taking care of animals, their welfare and wellbeing, and the media may consider informing the public in this regard as well.

    The high court also regretted that reportedly “mahouts” have a negative relationship with Kaavan since his food was sold to visitors so that the latter could feed the elephant. The funds generated are not recorded and thus go unaccounted while the health condition of the elephant was also disturbing.

    The diet given to Kaavan is also substandard and inadequate to meet its needs, the judgment said, adding this social living being has been kept in isolation since his female companion Saheli’s death at the age of 22 in 2012.

    There is also no dispute that animal does not deserves to be subjected to cruel treatment and to separate an elephant from the herd and keep it in isolation is not what has been contemplated by nature, the judgment said.

    Like humans, animals also have natural rights which ought to be recognised, the judgment said, and that it was a right of each animal, a living being, to live in an environment that meets its behavioural, social and physiological needs.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1558826/ih...iate-sanctuary


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  4. #4
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    Music icon and animal rights activist Cher shared her delight after a Pakistani court ordered the freedom for a lonely elephant, who had become the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by the United States singer.

    "We have just heard from Pakistan High Court Kaavan is free," the singer and animal rights campaigner said on Twitter on Thursday in capital letters, adding a string of emojis and saying she felt "sick".

    "This is one of the greatest moments of my life," she said.

    Outrage over the treatment of Kaavan at the capital's Islamabad Zoo went global several years ago with a petition garnering more than 200,000 signatures after it emerged he was being chained up.

    The Islamabad High Court ordered wildlife officials to consult with Sri Lanka, where the Asian elephant came from, to find him a "suitable sanctuary" within 30 days.

    "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 court ordered, criticising the zoo for failing to meet the animal's needs for the past three decades.

    The court has also ordered dozens of other animals - including brown bears, lions and birds - to be relocated temporarily while the zoo improves its standards.

    Zoo officials have in the past denied that Kaavan was chained up and said he was just in need of a new mate after his partner died in 2012.

    But experts have told AFP previously that without a better habitat his future was bleak.

    His behaviour - including signs of distress such as bobbing his head repeatedly - demonstrates "a kind of mental illness", Safwan Shahab Ahmad of the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation told AFP news agency in 2016.

    Activists said he had insufficient shelter from Islamabad's searing summer temperatures, which can rise to above 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).

    'Bold step'
    Asian elephants can roam thousands of kilometres through deep tropical and subtropical forests, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

    In contrast, Kaavan's 90 by 140 metre (100 by 150 yard) pen had almost no foliage, and only limited shade was provided.

    The Nonhuman Rights Project, a US animal rights group, which has been campaigning for Kaavan, applauded the "bold step".

    Arriving as a one-year-old in 1985 from Sri Lanka, Kaavan was temporarily held in chains in 2002 because zookeepers were concerned about increasingly violent tendencies, but he was freed later that year after an outcry.

    His mate Saheli, who arrived also from Sri Lanka in 1990, died in 2012, and in 2015 it emerged that Kaavan was regularly being chained once more - for several hours a day.

    Many people signed a petition sent to zoo authorities and Pakistan's then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in protest.

    A second petition circulated in 2016 and was backed by more than 200,000 animal-lovers from across the globe, demanding Kaavan's release to a sanctuary.

    Cher, who for years has spoken out about his plight, tweeted her thanks to the Pakistani government, adding: "It's so emotional for us that I have to sit down."

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...082957974.html


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  5. #5
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    Good to see some semblance of animal rights, but almost single-handedly achieved by mass social media presence. Don't think it's a big milestone.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)


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