Islamabad: The trick to calming an unhappy elephant? Sing him Frank Sinatra songs, according to one of the vets tasked with assessing whether Kaavan can be moved from poor conditions in a zoo in Pakistan’s capital to a sanctuary in Cambodia.
Amir Khalil, a vet who has worked in war zones to rescue animals, is now in Islamabad with welfare organisation Four Paws to determine whether Kaavan is healthy enough to travel after a Pakistani court ruled in May that all animals at Islamabad’s zoo must be set free or transferred to a better environment.
“When we arrived 10 days ago … I started to train him and to sing to him and he accommodated me so we have a relationship,” he said, adding he chose Sinatra’s hit My Way.
Animal rights advocates have long raised concerns about conditions at Islamabad’s zoo, where dozens of animals including six lion cubs have died in the past four years.