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American singer Cher is a ‘big fan’ of Imran Khan

She thanked him for releasing Kaavan the elephant

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 3, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jun 3, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: AFP

American singer Cher who helped Kaavan, an elephant at the Islamabad zoo, get freedom expressed, her gratitude towards Prime Minister Imran Khan. She said that she’d been a fan of the prime minister since his cricket days.

Taking to Twitter, the singer turned animal rights campaigner couldn’t contain her excitement and thanked many people including several Pakistani ministers and representatives.

“I was a big fan of you when you played cricket @ImranKhanPTI. I always thought you seemed so kind. Thank you so much for your help. This is a dream come true,” she tweeted.

In May, Pakistani court ordered freedom for a lonely elephant named Kaavan, who had become the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by the US singer.

Outrage over treatment of Kaavan, an Asian elephant originally from Sri Lanka, went global several years ago with a petition garnering over 200,000 signatures after it emerged he was being chained at the Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan’s leafy capital.

Zoo officials later said this was no longer the case, and that he just needed a new mate after his previous partner died in 2012.

But experts have told AFP previously that without a better habitat his future was bleak, even if a long-promised new mate finally arrives.

His behaviour—including signs of distress such as bobbing his head repeatedly—demonstrates “a kind of mental illness”, Safwan Shahab Ahmad of the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation told AFP in 2016.

His mate Saheli, who arrived also from Sri Lanka in 1990, died in 2012, and in 2015 it emerged that Kaavan was regularly being chained once more for several hours a day.

Scores of people signed a petition sent to zoo authorities and Pakistan’s then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in protest.

A second petition circulated in 2016 and backed by over 200,000 animal-lovers from across the globe demanded Kaavan’s release to a sanctuary.

Cher, who for years has spoken out about Kaavan’s plight, tweeted her thanks to the Pakistani government, adding “it’s so emotional for us that I have to sit Down”.

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