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Kaavan still at Islamabad zoo as court transfer deadline expires

Islamabad High Court ordered release of the zoo's only elephant

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Posted: Jul 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Kaavan still at Islamabad zoo as court transfer deadline expires

Photo: Online

It has been more than a month since the Islamabad High Court ordered the authorities to move animals from the city’s zoo, including its only elephant Kaavan. The animals have yet to be transferred to a sanctuary.

The animals haven’t been shifted despite court orders, remarked Chief Justice Athar Minallah while hearing a case on the verdict implementation on Saturday.

The wildlife authorities can’t even take care of humans, let alone animals, said the judge.

Related: Cher tweets joy as Pakistan agrees to free Kaavan

The court has ordered all stakeholders to hold a meeting on Monday and solve the matter and submit a plan of action report in court. “No extension will be granted in the transfer deadline,” the court added.

The hearing has been adjourned for a month.

Many activists rejoiced after the court had ordered the transfer of animals from Marghazar zoo to suitable sanctuaries on May 22. The verdict was announced on three combined petitions: relocation of a brown bear, treatment of Kaavan and stopping the shooting of stray dogs.

The court said that the elephant had suffered a lot at the “ill-equipped zoo”. The wildlife board was instructed to move the elephant to a sanctuary in Pakistan or approach the elephant’s birth country Sri Lanka to take his care within 30 days. The deadline expired on June 22 but no action was taken.

Read more: Petition seeking proper care for Kaavan filed in court

Outrage over Kaavan’s treatment went global – with a petition garnering over 200,000 signatures – after it emerged he was being chained at the Islamabad Zoo.

The 35-year-old Asian elephant is said to be suffering from “mental illness” and without a better habitat his future is bleak even if a long-promised new mate finally arrives, experts have said.

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