'World's loneliest' elephant is now living his happily ever after

An elephant living alone in a zoo for eight years and dubbed 'the world's loneliest elephant' is thriving after being relocated to a jungle.

Dr Amir Khalil, from the global animal welfare organisation, FOUR PAWS, says Kaavan the elephant has rediscovered his natural instincts in the Cambodian jungle a year after he was rescued from captivity in Pakistan.

Kaavan previously spent 35 years in captivity, and since his partner's death in 2012, he has spent the past eight years alone.

However, one year on from his rescue, he is flourishing in his new home at Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Dr Amir, FOUR PAWS veterinarian, said: "He has rediscovered his natural instincts and can enjoy having other elephants around.

"Kaavan is living the life he deserves. I’m looking forward to visiting him as soon as possible to see for myself what a difference the last year made.

"While Kaavan has not yet been socialised with other elephants, the team at CWS continues to monitor his development and will determine if he becomes interested in having a companion.

"Until then, neighbouring enclosures allow for the elephants to get used to each other’s smell and touch each other’s trunks, a friendly gesture.

"35 years in captivity causes a lot of trauma but Kaavan is making great progress, roaming around his spacious jungle enclosure and enjoying baths in his pond.

"Back in the zoo in Pakistan, he was showing severe behavioural problems, shaking his head and pacing back and forth in the dreary enclosure."

He had been stuck in deplorable conditions in Islamabad's Marghazar Zoo, after his mate was said to have died of sepsis in 2012.

This made him the only elephant in Pakistan and international media gave him the title of loneliest elephant in the world.

His case eventually caught the attention of singer Cher who joined in the legal battle to get the zoo to release him and, after five years, the High Court of Pakistan finally agreed to release Kaavan from his cage in the zoo.

Kaavan was transported from Pakistan to Siem Reap by plane and the team had to use creative techniques to ensure the process was stress-free for the elephant.

Since Kavaan's rescue, the Islamabad High Court announced a ban on the import of new elephants into the country.