A heartwarming video of the elephant once dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant” is creating a buzz online.
The 37-year-old rescue elephant named Kaavan can be seen enjoying his stay in the 25,000-acre Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia in an Instagram video recently published by the Save Elephant Foundation.
The 9,000-pound animal, who had suffered in confinement at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, for almost 30 years, was relocated to the Cambodian refuge in 2020 following a four-year campaign that cost over $400,000.
As shown in the video below, Kaavan now spends his afternoons cooling down in the water:
The video’s caption reads, “On a very hot afternoon at @cambodiawildlifesanctuary Kaavan shows us his favorite way to relax and cool down,” the video’s caption says.
In 1985, when Kaavan was just a year old, Sri Lanka handed him to Pakistan as a gift.
After Saheli, his 22-year girlfriend, died in 2012, he spent the remaining eight years of his life alone at the zoo.
Following Saheli’s death, Kaavan was said to be suffering from mental health concerns.
Kaavan would toss his head from side to side, signifying boredom and unhappiness, according to Martin Bauer of Vienna-based animal protection nonprofit Four Paws.
Kaavan’s misery drew international attention, earning him the label “world’s loneliness elephant.”
Four Paws, philanthropist Eric Margolis, and Free The Wild, an animal protection group co-founded by legendary singer Cher, spearheaded the initiative to move Kaavan in 2016.
The Islamabad High Court ordered local wildlife officials to cooperate with Sri Lanka to find Kaavan a “suitable sanctuary” in May 2020, amid growing worldwide backing.
Those who have been following Kaavan’s tale have been overjoyed to see him thriving in his new home.