Mission to Pakistan
Animals are living in misery at the Islamabad Zoo
Due to the extremely poor healthcare and inexperienced staff at the Marghazar Zoo, in Islamabad, for years many of these animals have suffered terribly. For the past four years, we have observed the Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan, and have reached out to help the animals before, but until now our offers and recommendations were consistently ignored, resulting in further neglect of its animals and leaving many to unnecessary suffer and die.
However, recently hope has come at last in a decision made by the Islamabad High Court, for the immediate closure of the area and approval for the relocation of all the animals.
This step comes at a great milestone for animal welfare in Pakistan, not only for the fate of the animals who have suffered in Marghazar Zoo but also because it will open doors for the promotion of more policies supporting animals in the future.
After a lifetime of suffering and surviving in such precarious conditions, these animals can get another chance at life. We now have an opportunity to help the local authorities with the relocation of the remaining captive animals.
This mission has to be fast, but by working together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, we're striving to not only provide a new home for the Islamabad animals but also provide these animals with the care that they have been missing for so long.
Suzie and Bubloo are doing great!
We are over the moon with happiness to see how much they are progressing every day! In less than a month since their rescue, Suzie and Bubloo are much calmer and happier. The two bears came from a closed down zoo, Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan and were previously used as 'dancing bears'. Soon after, the two bears were brought to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife sanctuary, which is run by Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS.
As they are new arrivals and need to be monitored regularly, at the moment they are staying in a quarantine enclosure. Although they were stressed when they first arrived, no stereotypical behaviour has been observed from either Suzie or Bubloo. However, they can be a bit shy and timid, but they are making good progress constantly. These days, Bubloo is busy playing in his pool while Suzie prefers to play with hanging tires and other enrichment. Both of them have good appetite, but due to the state of their teeth, the onsite team has to modify their meals slightly. They cut their food into small chunks, in order for the bears to eat it easily. Their favourite treats so far are grapes and dates. We are looking forward to seeing them continue to relax and flourish!
They will be moved to a much larger enclosure at the end of January, when their quarantine period is over. Until then, they will be closely observed to ensure that their physical and mental health continues to improve.
Suzie and Bubloo arrived at their new home!
After a long journey, the remaining two animals of Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan have finally arrived in Jordan 🇯🇴. They have been released to temporary quarantine enclosures for now. As soon as their conditions allow it, they will move to the large and green outdoor enclosures.
We are all overwhelmed, happy and relieved at how the hard work in the past weeks and months paid off. The successful rescue of Suzie and Bubloo means there are no more animals left in the zoo in Islamabad. Marghazar zoo has finally closed its gates, once and for all.
This moment couldn't come soon enough. The 17-year-old Himalayan brown bears have endured years of suffering, and they show the signs of a hard life. Before being brought to the zoo, they were abused as so-called 'dancing bears' and since then showed serious behavioural problems.
We are committed to showing Suzie and Bubloo a kind retirement at the Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife sanctuary, which is run by Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS, so that they can enjoy their twilight years in peace and safety. Would you like to support them through their recovery? Donate for them here.
What a success - the two bears have left the zoo!
Suzie and Bubloo have left the Marghazar Zoo for good and are currently on their way to the Al Ma’Wa for Nature and Wildlife sanctuary in Jordan, which is run by Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS. Together with his team on-site, Dr Amir Khalil performed vet checks on the bears to make sure everything was prepared for a smooth transfer for the two Himalayan brown bears.
We are relieved and beyond happy that we have finally made it and to see Suzie and Bubloo on their way to a new species-appropriate forever home. Please donate for their new life!
A free deer!
Today, Dr Amir Khalil and his team on-site, changed the life of a deer that was kept at the Marghazar Zoo in solitary confinement, forever. After darting and examining the Hog Deer was brought to a spacious area near Islamabad with good vegetation and many trees. Now it will hopefully be able to live a happier and healthier life together with other Hog Deer.
In the next days, we plan to also finally transfer the two bears, Suzie and Bubloo, to their new home in Jordan. Stay tuned and please keep donating for our mission in Pakistan.
The relocation of the two Himalayan Brown Bears Suzie and Bubloo, kept at Marghazar Zoo, has been approved by all involved parties! We are happy that the Ministry of Climate Change and the IWMB took yet another decision in favour of animal welfare. This week Dr Amir Khalil and his team will bring the bears to its Jordanian sanctuary Al Ma’Wa for Nature and Wildlife, which is run by Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS. There, Suzie and Bubloo will find a species-appropriate home and the proper care they urgently need. Thanks again to the Pakistani authorities and community for their ongoing support in providing a better future for wildlife.
Please keep supporting us during this mission!
We are back with breaking news!
After the successful relocation of elephant Kaavan, Dr Amir Khalil and his team are back in Pakistan to bring the two bears Suzie and Bubloo from the Marghazar zoo to a sanctuary in Jordan. Everything was planned and organised for the transfer tomorrow, but then our team were surprised by a disappointing announcement: At the very last moment, the ministry of climate change cancelled the export permit of the bears to leave the country for unknown reasons. Today, the Islamabad High Court issued an order on an urgent note, summoning the Ministry of Climate Change and IWMB to follow the previous court orders. We are confident that the state of Pakistan will follow the court orders to support the relocation of Suzie and Bubloo to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife a sanctuary in Jerash, Jordan, which is run by Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS.
Please keep supporting us during this mission!
This photo doesn't need much explanation...
We can now officially call him the "former loneliest elephant in the world"! Seeing Kaavan interacting with other elephants is a huge moment for us but more importantly for Kaavan. This is his first contact with an elephant in eight years. The whole FOUR PAWS team is extremely moved and we could not be prouder.
First steps in his new forever home!
It is already dark and difficult to see, but we still want to make sure you are a part of this milestone – Kaavan stepping foot into the sanctuary in Cambodia for the first time. After a long journey from Pakistan, he was now able to leave his transport crate and enjoyed a warm welcome with delicious treats such an banana leaves and fruit cake which had been made especially for him. Tomorrow, in the daylight, we will try to capture Kaavan getting to know his new friends. We really hope he will like his new home and adapt to the new environment.
Please keep supporting us during this mission.
Kaavan has arrived in Cambodia
Last night the loneliest elephant in the world was loaded on an airplane in Islamabad. Together with the team on-site, Dr Frank Goeritz and Dr Amir Khalil were right by his side throughout the whole trip. Our vets also commented that the flight was uneventful, which is great news when doing something as challenging as transferring an elephant! Our partner NGO Free The Wild and US-superstar Cher were awaiting the elephant in Cambodia. What an exciting day for us all...
Dreams do come true...
For the first time in 35 years, Kaavan’s enclosure in Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad is finally empty. The elephant was moved safely into his transport crate after weeks of training. Right now, the giant and our team are on the way to the airport.
Today is the day!
Final preparations are underway and the crate has been moved into Kaavan’s enclosure. Keep your fingers crossed that everything will run smoothly. Soon he will be able to step foot into his new home in Cambodia. Unbelievable, right? Our hearts are pounding and the excitement level of the whole team is through the roof, but we could not be happier right now.
Please donate for our on-going mission in Pakistan.
Together for Kaavan!
Can you believe that in less than 24 hours Kaavan’s journey to his new life begins? We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in this huge mission to #FreeKaavan: The Pakistani people who have never given up the calls to free Kaavan, US-Superstar Cher who has fought for years with her NGO, Free The Wild, for the relocation of Kaavan and is also on-site today to cheer for him. She even took the time to sing to Kaavan and feed him some apples and bananas.
Also, this rescue would never have happened without the trust and financial support of American Businessman, journalist and philanthropist Eric Margolis. And of course, Dr Goeritz, Head veterinarian of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, our team and vet Dr Amir Khalil who has been in Pakistan for months, preparing Kaavan for the biggest transfer we, as FOUR PAWS have ever undertaken! And last but not least, thank YOU, our community who donated, shared and left motivating comments to make this mission a success! We all are one big family and as Cher would sing “Strong Enough” to provide Kaavan with the life he deserves after many years of loneliness. Support our mission in Pakistan!
A few days left to go...
After years of loneliness, everything is finally about to change for the better. The next days will be exciting for the last Asian elephant in Pakistan. Stay tuned for Kaavan’s journey to a sanctuary in Cambodia. We will take you with us on his life-changing trip!
Also, a huge thanks to the Eric S Margolis Foundation for donating for Kaavan’s flight and the relocation of the remaining animals from the Marghazar zoo. Please keep up the great support for our mission in Pakistan!
Training for the big move!
From the first moment he laid eyes on the colourful crate, Kaavan was eager to start the training. Since then, together with his team, Dr Amir Khalil is spending several hours per day to work with the elephant and making sure he feels comfortable and safe in the crate. In the past weeks, Kaavan has made good progress and is a great student. We are all very proud of him! Support our mission in Pakistan!
And the countdown begins…
Dr Amir Khalil and his team trained and prepared the world’s loneliest elephant for his journey from Pakistan to Cambodia. We are all excited and hopeful that this transfer will run as smoothly as possible. Will you cheer him on and follow his thrilling trip in just a few days?
Please keep supporting Kaavan’s new life!
One step closer to improving Kaavan’s life forever!
It was certainly a complicated task, but our team has managed to build a training crate for the giant at the Islamabad Zoo. Together with his team, our vet and mission leader, Dr Amir Khalil, is now spending all his time with the world’s loneliest elephant in order to prepare him for the upcoming relocation to Cambodia. #FreeKaavan.
Can Kaavan count on your help as well?
Crate training with Suzie!
Yesterday we received the crate for the relocation of bear Suzie. She was very curious to see this new installation as her first few days of training involved a temporary crate. Now we hope that Suzie will get used to her new transport crate. Our goal is for Suzie to enter the crate calmly, reducing the amount of stress and therefore not needing to be sedated for the transport. Right now, the team is finalising all the preparations for both Suzie and Bubloo to fly to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife - محمية المأوى للطبيعة والبرية, a sanctuary in Jordan, that was established through a partnership between Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS.
Please keep up your great support and donate now.
We want him to be happy again!
What do you feel when watching this video? Our hearts break when seeing this beautiful animal being lonely, bored, and suffering. We want him to be happy again.
Please consider supporting this logistically challenging rescue mission.
Any donation will help us to change Kaavan’s life.
Look at his excited face!
This is Kaavan seeing his training crate for the first time. It seems he knows what it is for. It stands for a new life. A new life in peace and with companions – that‘s maybe why he loves the elephant painting on it so much. In the next couple of weeks, Kaavan will be trained to comfortably go into the crate, so that he is prepared for the flight to his new and forever home, a sanctuary in Cambodia.
We will take you with us on his big journey! Be part of it and help Kaavan now!
Suzie and Bubloo deserve better!
Since these two former dancing bears need constant medical attention and care, which currently cannot be provided at Marghazar Zoo, we suggested to move them to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife - محمية المأوى للطبيعة والبرية, a sanctuary in Jerash, that was established through a partnership between Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS. Thanks to the support of the Pakistani community and the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board IWMB, the wait is finally over: we received the necessary documents to relocate Suzie and Bubloo from Pakistan to Jordan. Soon, the bears will be able to enjoy a species-appropriate life and have a chance to start over.
Will you help us and donate for this urgent transfer?
Dr Amir Khalil and his team meets the President!
Yesterday, our FOUR PAWS team on-site had the honour to talk about the relocation and retirement of Kaavan to Cambodia with Dr Arif Alvi, the President of Pakistan. During this meeting the team was also supported by PTI MNA Najeeb Haroon and by Owais AWAN, advocate at the Islamabad High Court and consultant for FOUR PAWS. The President showed FOUR PAWS his full support regarding the retirement of Kaavan.
Let's make the impossible, possible. Together!
The world’s loneliest elephant deserves a new life. We are committed to performing the hardest rescue we ever did. Please donate today!
Kaavan’s journey to a new life
At the moment our team is busy with all the logistical planning for one of our heaviest missions yet – the relocation of Kaavan, the loneliest elephant in the world.
Together with the help of the Pakistani community, the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and Free The Wild, we want to bring Kaavan to a sanctuary in Cambodia. In order to accomplish this massive rescue, a lot needs to happen. He will receive a specially made crate and even a special plane to bring him to his new forever home, where he will be able to enjoy life with other elephants. After years of isolation, Kaavan's loneliness can finally end.
Help us make our heaviest rescue possible by donating now.
Together with US superstar Cher, we are planning to relocate elephant Kaavan in the next weeks!
The Islamabad High Court has assigned our vet, Dr Amir Khalil, with the logistical organisation and carrying out of Kaavan’s relocation from Pakistan to a sanctuary in Cambodia. In early September, FOUR PAWS gave the green light for the elephant’s transfer after medically examining him.
The transfer of the world loneliest elephant is supported by the NGO Free The Wild. Its co-founder, US superstar Cher, has been fighting for the elephant’s departure since 2016. With the relocation of Kaavan, not only will Pakistan's last Asian elephant leave the country, but the infamous zoo in Islamabad will finally close!
This will definitely be one of the most difficult missions FOUR PAWS has ever done, but we are optimistic and ready for this challenge. #FreeKaavan. Please donate for Kaavan’s new life.
Our mission to help the animals of the Marghazar Zoo continues!
As you all know, our team travelled to Pakistan at the beginning of September to assist with the relocation of Kaavan, the loneliest elephant in the world, and several other animals remaining at the zoo in Islamabad. After Dr Frank Goeritz and Dr Amir Khalil performed a vet check on Bubloo and Suzie, two former dancing bears, it is clear that their health condition requires urgent attention and specialised care. Bear Suzie especially worries us: she is too skinny, has kidney problems and suffers from an infected surgery wound due to the removal of a tumour. We want to offer Suzie and Bubloo the special care they need in one of our sanctuaries.
Stay tuned and keep donating please!
There is so much going on in Pakistan right now, that we don’t even know where to start.
Today, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) appointed Dr Amir Khalil as “amicus curiae”. This means he will be assisting the court in finding a suitable place for the remaining animals at Marghazar Zoo, including the two bears and the loneliest elephant in the world, Kaavan. This is a huge success for our team on-site! Additionally, this morning together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) we transferred 17 rabbits and 5 vervet monkeys to the Ayub Park in their new home with spacious enclosures. A lot of positive things are happening, and we are beyond grateful for your support. Please follow the next steps, especially the stories of #FreeKaavan and the bears. Help us to help them.
Success! We have transferred the first animals!
After an exhausting month for our team in Pakistan, 3 wolves and 2 monkeys are now in their new home with spacious enclosures. Today, together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Dr Amir Khalil and his team have managed to safely transport the animals to the Ayub Park an hour away from the capital. We hope we can do the same for the remaining animals at the Marghazar Zoo.
Please consider to donate and support our work.
Major findings from the vet checks of Suzie & Bubloo at Marghazar Zoo
In the past days, the team on-site needed to improvise and set up a field hospital, where together with local vets Dr Amir Kahlil and Dr Frank Goeritz from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) could examine the two bears thoroughly under full anaesthesia. These are the results of the vet checks:
Female bear Suzie is missing almost all her teeth, which is not uncommon for former dancing bears due to their owners removing them to avoid the animal harming people. The wound from the tumour removal surgery was still open and infected. The vets provided the necessary treatment and made sure her health status is stabilised. Nevertheless, the team found issues with her kidneys and liver, which will need constant monitoring. Additionally, Suzie’s claws have been clipped and her enclosure conditions have been improved.
Male bear Bubloo is in an overall good condition. Almost all his teeth have also been removed but one of the remaining teeth is badly infected and must be removed as soon as possible. Both bears are now receiving nutritious food, following our advice. They will need constant medical attention and care, which currently cannot be provided at Marghazar Zoo. Since none of the sanctuaries in Pakistan are willing to take Suzie and Bubloo, we have offered to rescue them in one of our bear sanctuaries and are expecting the final decision of the government of Pakistan regarding this.
Will you donate for a better future of these two bears? Please support them now.
Kaavan, the loneliest elephant in the world
One of the animals we were invited to support relocate is elephant Kaavan. We were asked to perform a medical examination to see whether he is fit enough for transport. Under the strictest safety precautions, our team led by Dr. Khalil and Dr. Goeritz from IZW (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research) performed Kaavan's examination. After the elephant was sedated, they took blood samples, measured him, and inserted a microchip in his left shoulder.
Our team discovered that due to malnutrition and lack of physical exercise, Kaavan shows visible signs of obesity. Also, his nails are cracked and malformed which can be attributed to the inappropriate flooring and structure of his enclosure. A lack of enrichments as well as the absence of a partner, have resulted in some stereotypical behaviour - he is extremely bored and lonely.
Overall, his general health condition allows him to be relocated. Following our examination and the official report, which will be submitted on Monday, the authorities will decide on the next steps for his relocation. Stay tuned for more updates about Kaavan!
Please support our mission in Pakistan and donate for the animals.
Dr Amir Khalil & his team are on-site!
Even though travelling is difficult due to all the COVID-19 restrictions, our team managed to get to Islamabad. Today we want to start with much needed vet checks for the remaining animals at Marghazar Zoo.
Join us to help them by donating now!
Dr Amir Khalil and his team support the rescue of zoo animals
Two animals are especially in need of urgent help: two former dancing bears. They have no teeth and one of them is suffering from an infected wound, after surgery where a tumour was removed. Together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, we will give our best to help them all as fast as possible. Every minute counts and as usual our team on-site is determined to change the lives of these animals for good. Help now!
Dramatic situation at the Islamabad Zoo!
After a ground-breaking decision from the Islamabad High Court to close down the under-funded Marghazar zoo, an immediate relocation of all the animals was planned. Due to inexperienced animal handlers, a harrowing incident happened, where two lions lost their lives from the effects of the fire. We have been asked to help with the urgent relocation of all the remaining animals. Now or never we have a chance to change the lives of the bears, wolves, monkeys and rabbits for good. Will you donate for these desperate animals?
FOUR PAWS made an assessment report of the establishment with clear recommendations for improvements of food and physical care of the animals as well as a veterinary training program and health treatment guidelines.