Cher meets the World’s Loneliest Elephant

Stunning images show Cher meeting the ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ Kavaan after she flew to Pakistan to secure his rescue in November last year.

The singer, 74, said she felt ‘swept up’ in a social media campaign to free the malnourished Asian elephant, who had spent nearly 20 years chained up in a zoo.

Cher spearheaded the online campaign before flying out to the country to ensure a life of freedom for the mistreated creature.

First meeting: Stunning images show Cher meeting the ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ Kavaan after she flew to Pakistan to secure his rescue in November

New images show Cher meeting the animal for the first time, ahead of a documentary due to be aired about the campaign.

Cher said her fans’ persistence convinced her to help Kaavan, and said: ‘I never actually intended to, I just got swept up in it because the kids on my Twitter feed started sending me these pictures and it was all ‘free Kaavan, free Kaavan’.

‘And I looked at the pictures and they were terrible but I thought, “I can’t do anything”, so I didn’t answer them and thought eventually they’ll just stop. 

‘But they didn’t and so I started to get involved.’

Friends: The singer, 74, said she felt 'swept up' in a social media campaign to free the malnourished Asian elephant, who had spent nearly 20 years chained up

Friends: The singer, 74, said she felt ‘swept up’ in a social media campaign to free the malnourished Asian elephant, who had spent nearly 20 years chained up

Campaign: Cher spearheaded the online campaign before flying out to the country to ensure a life of freedom for the mistreated creature

Campaign: Cher spearheaded the online campaign before flying out to the country to ensure a life of freedom for the mistreated creature

Two icons: New images show Cher meeting the animal for the first time, ahead of a documentary due to be aired in the UK about the campaign

Two icons: New images show Cher meeting the animal for the first time, ahead of a documentary due to be aired in the UK about the campaign

During his time in captivity, the creature was prodded to beg for tips while living in a cramped, dilapidated shed under the punishing Islamabad sun.

Kaavan’s living conditions led to dire health problems, including obesity, before his only mate died of neglect.

His plight led to a social media campaign that caught Cher’s attention and she eventually helped earn Kaavan his freedom.

The story features in documentary Cher & The Loneliest Elephant, which will air on the Smithsonian Channel.

Cher said her fans' persistence convinced her to help Kaavan, and said: 'I never actually intended to, I just got swept up in it because the kids on my Twitter feed'

Cher said her fans’ persistence convinced her to help Kaavan, and said: ‘I never actually intended to, I just got swept up in it because the kids on my Twitter feed’

Harrowing: During his time in captivity, the creature was prodded to beg for tips while living in a cramped, dilapidated shed under the punishing Islamabad sun

Harrowing: During his time in captivity, the creature was prodded to beg for tips while living in a cramped, dilapidated shed under the punishing Islamabad sun

Cher co-founded Free The Wild with partners Mark Cowne, Gina Nelthorpe Cowne and Jennifer Ruiz.

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