There’s no doubt that Cher is an icon whose humanity is unparalleled. However, who would’ve thunk her name would be synonymous with elephants? Not even Cher saw that one coming. Anika Sleem, an animal rights activist, who put out the call for assistance for Kaavan via Twitter and by midnight had a response from the Oscar winner. Sleem’s tweet was a succession of a Facebook page and hashtag #FreeKaavan started by Dr. Samar Khan, who learned about Kaavan’s neglect in a Pakistanian zoo while visiting her parents.
What would follow is a worldwide campaign culminating in the freedom of a beautiful creature. In 2018, Cher launched the non-profit “Free The Wild” dedicated to animal rights and recorded a special song “Walls” about the lonely elephant’s plight. Only after legal eagle Owais Awan took the zoo responsible holding Kavaan captive in isiolation to court, did we see a landmark precedent for animal rights passed, would there be any forward movement.
Elephants are among our most intelligent creatures that inhabit the earth. Much like human beings, they need to be social comes with a certain emotional life that can kill their spirit when not allowed to interact. They should be free to roam and be an elephant. Kaavan had been chained up and help captive, mostly alone, as an attraction for nearly 35 years.
Enter Dr. Amir Khalil from Four Paws. Between the imposed diet and crate training complete with a version of singing Frank Sinatra’s signature tune “My Way,’ this gorgeous spirit is now roaming free within the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary.
What many fail to remember is that we are ALL some form of animal and that our friends in the wild should be treated with the majestic respect expected and demanded from one another as beings inhabiting and sharing a planet. It only takes one person to speak up and make a difference as the globe has witnessed when one young girl’s plea aided in one of the most intense murder trials of our lifetime.
When you see something – say something. Cher did both and did it without hesitation during a global pandemic. It’s her unselfishness and heart that are on full display when she and Kaavan finally meet face to face. Watching her spirit light up from the inside out while feeding him fruit and singing “My Way” with Dr. Amir is worth its weight in gold. We are now able to witness how this fight is assisting in changing the attitudes toward animal welfare, but not with the quickness it deserves. Please check out these organizations for more info – Save The Elephant Foundation and Free The Wild. In the meantime, check out Cher and The Loneliest Elephant streaming now on Paramount +.