Mission to Pakistan


Around 30 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.



Stay tuned for further updates about our mission in Pakistan! 

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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!

Crate training elephant Kaavan

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? 

Suzie gets crate trained

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.

Kaavan sees his crate for the first time

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!

Bear Suzie needs your help!

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

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.

Elephant Kaavan at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan

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!

Elephant Kaavan

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. 

Preparing for transport

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

Bear in the corner in the Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan

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 Khalil and Dr Frank Goeritz from the IZW (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research) 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.

Vet Amir Khalil with an elephant Kaavan

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!

Bear in a cage

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!

Wolves in a cage

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. 


Help us to end the suffering of captive animals in the Islamabad Zoo


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