Kavan, known as the most lonely elephant in the world, is on his way to Cambodia after Cher’s campaign to free him

(CNN) – He is 36 years old overweight The Asian elephant, who spent most of his life in captivity alone, is on the way to a safe haven in Cambodia – thanks in part to the efforts of American pop star Cher.

Pakistan’s only Asian elephant spent years in bleak conditions at a controversial zoo in Islamabad, where it suffered from lack of exercise as well as cracked and discolored nails due to living in an unsuitable building.

After Kavan’s partner passed away in 2012, he has been dubbed “the most lonely elephant in the world” – and since 2016, Cher has been part of a massive social media campaign to convey him.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court in Islamabad closed the zoo due to its poor conditions and granted the animal welfare organization Four Paws permission to remove the Kavan, which Sri Lanka gave to Pakistan 35 years ago, when he was a baby. According to the organization.

Cavan at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad on June 30, 2016.

Amer Qureshi / AFP / Getty Images

Early Monday local time in Pakistan, wrote Free The Wild, a charity co-founded by Cher Instagram That Kavan was loaded onto a plane and started his journey to Cambodia.

Prior to the flight, specialists from Four Paws trained the elephant for the small enclosure and loud noises it encountered during the flight, using bananas and other foods.

Cambodia is a not-for-profit wildlife reserve He said In a Facebook post, Kavan will now live in a huge jungle, where most of his food will be provided naturally – although he will also get fruit candy to “satisfy his sweet tooth.” Three other elephants live on the campus.

Cher found out about Kavan from the people on Twitter, according to a statement from the Smithsonian Channel, which is producing a documentary about the elephant story.

Cher said, “I thought, ‘How do I fix this? How do I rescue an elephant that has been tied in a shed for 17 years while it’s a thousand miles away? “This is Free The Wild’s first major rescue and I’m very proud.”

Before his trip, Cher traveled to Pakistan and sang Kavan with the song “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”.

She said that after her meeting on Friday with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan chirp She thanked him for “enabling me to take Kavan to Cambodia”.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the former cricket star Khan thanked Sher and invited her to become more involved in environmental initiatives in Pakistan.

Additional report from Reuters

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