People fighting for Kaavan’s freedom rejoiced last fall when the elephant who had been chained for most of his 32-year life at the Murghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, finally shed his shackles
For the first time in so long, Kaavan could walk freely around his enclosure. And for a few moments, it felt like things were really changing for the lone elephant. Advocates set their sights on rallying for Kaavan’s relocation to a sanctuary, where he could truly roam and be around other elephants.
But progress often isn’t so clean and simple.This is why Sunny Jamil and his team from Help Welfare Organization go and check on Kaavan every single day.
This week, Jamil was shocked to find Kaavan chained up and kneeling down in a concrete pit while his mahout (a kind of elephant trainer) was out selling sugarcane to tourists.
Kaavan was found chained in a concrete pit this week.
“Our team goes to the zoo daily, at different times, to do surprise checkups,” Jamil told The Dodo. When Jamil found Kaavan chained up this week, swaying from side to side, he demanded that Kaavan’s mahout unchain him.
Finally, he did.”This is very sad and unfortunately it is what Kaavan will suffer if he stays in the zoo,” Samar Khan, who works to spread the word about Kaavan’s plight internationally , told The Dodo. “Despite everything our volunteers have done to ensure that Kaavan is given a proper standard of living, the zoo staff still go against the official unchaining orders because it is more convenient to care for a chained elephant than an unchained one.”
Until Kaavan finally gets the freedom he deserves, Jamil and his team will be there again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
“We face big challenges on the ground,” Jamil said. “But we take footage so we can tell the truth to the world.”