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Life & Style

With Kaavan still on her mind, Cher thanks PM Imran Khan for his release

"I was a big fan of you when you played cricket @ImranKhanPTI," said the pop singer.

Updated June 02, 2020

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Just weeks after Islamabad High Court ordered the release and repatriation of Kaavan, a Sri Lankan elephant held in deplorable, solitary conditions in the capital's zoo, Cher is still riding the high of victory.

After years of backing a campaign for his's release, Cher was ecstatic with success when Islamabad High Court finally ordered wildlife officials to consult with Sri Lanka to find Kaavan a "suitable sanctuary" within 30 days.

"THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE," she had tweeted at the time. Now, the iconic pop singer once again took to Twitter to celebrate the decision and thank Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"I was a big fan of you when you played cricket @ImranKhanPTI. I always thought you seemed so kind. Thank you so much for your help," she said on Twitter.

Cher also thanked Federal Minister for Science & Technology Fawad Chaudhry for his support to Free The Wild, a charity co-founded by Cher to free wild animals mistreated in captivity.

In turn, the minister thanked her for running such a "forceful campaign".

Some also pointed out to Cher that credit is also due to Justice Athar Minallah, chief justice of Islamabad High Court, who heard the petition and ordered Kaavan's release in May.

Arriving as a one-year-old in 1985 from Sri Lanka, Kaavan was temporarily held in chains in 2002 because zookeepers were concerned about increasingly violent tendencies, but he was freed later that year after an outcry.

His mate Saheli, who arrived also from Sri Lanka in 1990, died in 2012, and in 2015 it emerged that Kaavan was regularly being chained once more -- for several hours a day.

Scores of people signed a petition sent to zoo authorities and Pakistan's then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in protest.

A second petition circulated in 2016 and backed by over 200,000 animal-lovers from across the globe demanded Kaavan's release to a sanctuary.

Cher, who for years has spoken out about Kaavan's plight, tweeted at the time her thanks to the Pakistani government, adding "it's so emotional for us that I have to sit Down".