We visited Kaavan the Islamabad zoo elephant on September 28th, 2015. We were there for about two hours and he swayed his head like this the entire time in the heat of the midday sun. It was about noon. There was no shade in his entire enclosure, except in the shed, and that too was sunny. This leaves Kaavan with very little choice and free will. He was not chained, but since he had been chained in one spot in the shed since he was a baby, he still stands on the concrete floor as if he is chained. His companion Saheli died at age 22. She too was kept chained next to him in this shed.
We are arranging for foreign elephant experts via the Born Free Foundation to assess Kaavan's health and behaviour and to make recommendations for him accordingly. Capital Development Authority (CDA) who runs the zoo has agreed to invite the experts. Meanwhile, Kaavan will be under local observation and for this we are looking for an MPhil student who wants to work on this as part of their thesis. Volunteers in Islamabad are also needed to keep an eye on Kaavan. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're an Mphil student or if you would like to volunteer to visit the zoo.
If you are moved by Kaavan's plight, and would like to see a better life for him, please speak up.
Send letters to editors of leading newspapers in Pakistan and abroad about Kaavan’s plight in captivity and the ethics of keeping elephants in zoos. Urge Capital Development Authority (CDA)'s Director General Environment Dr. Suleiman Shaikh to not import more elephants for Islamabad zoo and to retire Kaavan to a sanctuary.
Express Tribune: email@example.com
Daily Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your voice can make a difference.