‘Kaavan not as aggressive since he was unchained’

Updated 21 Jul 2016

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This photograph taken on June 30, 2016, shows an Pakistani elephant caretaker in a moat at an enclosure with the elephant known as Kaavan at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad. -AFP/File
This photograph taken on June 30, 2016, shows an Pakistani elephant caretaker in a moat at an enclosure with the elephant known as Kaavan at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad. -AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Wednesday that the behaviour of Kavaan, the elephant at Marghazar Zoo, was improving since he was unchained and his enclosure was improved. Senators were also told there needed to be a better check on Kaavan.

PML-N Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, who visited the zoo on the direction of Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, told the upper house that Kavaan was not crazy, and his aggressiveness had decreased since he was unchained.

“When I asked the elephant’s handlers what they did when the elephant became aggressive, they told me they gave him more food,” she said. To this, the Senate chairman said this meant there was no proper care for the elephant’s nutirition.

The senator said the overall condition of the zoo was satisfactory, but several cages did not have trees that provided animals with shade. She said she also saw some people pelting the lions with stones.

“When I asked them why they were throwing stones at the lions, they told me they were trying to wake the lions,” she said.

The senator said that overall condition of the Zoo was satisfactory, however, she noted that in several cages, there were no trees to provide shadow to animals.

In response, PML-Q Senator Kamal Ali Agha quipped that “the people of the country have no option but to throw stones at lions”, in reference to the ruling PML-N which has a lion as its election symbol.

Mr Rabbani said he has already referred the matter of the zoo to the Cabinet Committee, and directed Ms Sadiq to share her findings and concern with it.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2016