Updated: May 20
Over the last few months, Free The Wild Trustee Anika Sleem and Team Kaavan's Diana Muñoz have been tirelessly chipping away at a seemingly impenetrable fortress. As most of you will know, over the last five years Free The Wild has been speaking to, meeting with, emailing and negotiating with the Pakistan government to have Kaavan the elephant released from Islamabad Zoo.
If you are not aware of Kaavan's story, please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with his struggles and how a number of NGOs, animal experts, conservationists and even the public have tried for more than five years to him freed.
Despite the team's diplomatic and understanding approach to the negotiations between Free The Wild and the Pakistan government, we have reached a point where new measures need to be taken.
Patience has not worked, promises have not been kept and time has been wasted to such an extent that we are going to have to try something different.
It is with this in mind that we'd like to ask for your help. As much as we'd appreciate more donations, we actually need your fingers and your passion more than anything else right now!
We've decided to embark on an email bombardment campaign - or as Anika prefers to call it, an "Email Storm". And rightly so. Our objective is to create a whirlwind - an influx in demand for Kaavan's freedom - and have it delivered right to the respective ministers in charge. He has suffered for long enough, and the more people that join in, the more likely we'll be to get a response.
We will be sharing 14 email addresses with you, all associated with the ministers and officials responsible for Kaavan and Islamabad Zoo, and we ask that this week (18 May - 25 May), you please;
1) Copy the email template and subject we've prepared below;
2) Paste it into your emailer;
3) Copy the ministers' email addresses;
4) Paste them into your email recipient field, then;
5) Hit send and add to the Storm!
Please copy the following into your emailer:
Dear Respected Authority,
We are writing to you deeply concerned for the welfare of Kaavan, an Asian elephant being held in horrible conditions and in isolation for over 3 decades at Islamabad zoo.
Kaavan was brought to Pakistan from Sri Lanka when he was around 1 year old, made to live in barren conditions and continuously chained. He had a companion named Saheli but she died in 2012 simply because her caretakers were unable to provide her the most basic medical care.
In 2016, he was visited by Four Paws' elephant expert who reported that Kaavan displays severe and advanced mental distress. This is the reason we are writing to you.
On March 14, 2020 Kaavan was seen pressing his head on the wall of his enclosure. This indicates something is terribly wrong - a neurological disorder among other conditions.
There have been ongoing discussions between NGO Free The Wild and the Pakistani government. Representatives of the organisation have travelled back and forth, urging government officials to release the 36-year-old Asian elephant to an elephant sanctuary.
Since the government had said that there is no funding allocated to Islamabad zoo for improvements, the NGO expressed an interest in helping to improve the zoo by training staff and improving infrastructure at no cost to Pakistan – so long as Kaavan was retired to the wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia that has long awaited his arrival.
Both parties came to an agreement that a memorandum of understanding would be drawn up to carry this out.
The MoU was then delivered to the Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz early in 2019 and has since not been returned signed.
Currently, with the COVID-19 pandemic Islamabad Zoo has had to close their doors to the public. Without visitors there is no revenue. Due to this it will be more difficult to feed the animals, provide enrichment and medical care, forcing them to survive with less than basics.
We recently heard positive news that the zoo Management has been handed over to the Ministry of Climate Change. Pakistan hitting its goal for its massive reforestation project of 10 Billion tree tsunami is beyond impressive and compassionate. Just like the trees, the animals at Islamabad zoo still have a chance to thrive. You can make this happen by including the changes in the green stimulus package.
Free The Wild endeavours to stop the suffering of wild animals in captivity and ultimately finding a way to release them into sanctuaries.
Kaavan’s supporters around the world have signed his petition: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/429/494/066/
As restrictions of reopening boarders start lifting we request that you act fast and allow Free The Wild to assist you immediately in having Kaavan moved to the sanctuary.
Your Name and Country
Please copy the following email addresses and paste them into the email’s recipients:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Disclaimer: By taking part in this "Email Storm" you agree that you will only copy and paste the provided and relevant information from this blog into an email, and send that email to no-one other than the Ministers whose email addresses have also been provided here. You agree that you will not use these email addresses for any other intent, whether philanthropic or otherwise. You agree that in sending this email, you are acting in good faith, in the hopes of having Kaavan freed from Islamabad Zoo, and nothing else.
Thank you for your support!
Free The Wild