Kaavan’s journey from Pakistan to Cambodia is soon to become a reality, as the country’s last Asian elephant’s CITES permit has been issued by the Federal Ministry of Climate Change. Earlier in October, the Cambodian government issued a transfer permit to allow Kaavan’s relocation to a sanctuary from Islamabad zoo. The elephant will leave Pakistan on November 29, to go to his new home in Cambodia where he will lead a safe and better life. In 1985, one-year-old Kaavan was gifted to Pakistan by Sri Lanka. Kaavan is now known as the world’s loneliest and saddest elephant, as he has been living in Islamabad’s Marghazar zoo under conditions. He is alone since his partner, Saheli, died in 2012. Elephants, naturally, live in herds where they interact with their family members. However, Kaavan did not have any social interaction and was forced to remain chained in a tiny enclosure. The distressed elephant developed certain abnormal behaviors and got physically unfit. He became overweight and aggressive. In 2016, he got attention internationally, and famous pop star Cher took it upon herself to campaign for him. She participated in a legal battle for him, that ended this year, when the Islamabad High Court decreed relocation of Kaavan from the zoo. International animal rights organizations, Four Paws International and Free The Wild stepped in to ensure that he finds a safe home. A sanctuary in Cambodia accepted Kaavan, after which several animal healthcare professionals and wildlife experts came to Pakistan to visit Kaavan and make sure his condition improves before he is rescued. A team of Four Paws International, lead by Dr. Amir Khalil, conducted several-weeks long trainings with Kaavan, where he went through medical checkups, lost weight and learnt social interaction. A farewell event was arranged at the zoo on Monday. Volunteers from animal rights organizations and government officials attended the event to bid farewell to Kaavan and express their joy and warm wishes for his better and happier future.