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MCI decides to conditionally release Kaavan

Updated February 18, 2019

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The 33-year-old Asian elephant’s case was taken up by animal rights activists across the world because it does not have a partner and has been forced to live in a small enclosure since his partner, Saheli, died in 2012.
The 33-year-old Asian elephant’s case was taken up by animal rights activists across the world because it does not have a partner and has been forced to live in a small enclosure since his partner, Saheli, died in 2012.

ISLAMABAD: The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has conditionally decided to release Kavaan, the lone elephant at Marghazar Zoo, if an international charity organisation provides help for upgradation of the zoo.

“We have decided to release Kavaan into an animal sanctuary,” said Chief Metropolitan Officer Syed Najaf Iqbal on Sunday.

He said talks between the MCI, Marghazar Zoo and the international charity organisation had been going on for months. “Before releasing Kaavan, we will ask the organisation to help the MCI in upgrading the zoo.”

He said a draft of MoU was received recently from the charity organisation in which the latter offered training to the zoo staff and upgradation of the zoo at a later stage.

“We are examining the offer and pushing them to clearly mention their development plan. In principle, we have decided to release Kaavan,” the official said.

In November last year, representatives of the charity organisation, Free the Wild, met Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and officers of relevant formations, requesting them to release the lone elephant.

The organisation had offered its help in upgrading the zoo.

Later, the representatives - Marke Cowne, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne and Anika Saleem - told a press conference that an understanding had been reached for the development of the zoo.

The 33-year-old Asian elephant’s case was taken up by animal rights activists across the world because it does not have a partner and has been forced to live in a small enclosure since his partner, Saheli, died in 2012.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2019