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Cher embarks on a journey to help relocate an elephant who’d been living alone in a Pakistani zoo for years in the new trailer for Cher and the Loneliest Elephant. The documentary is streaming now on Paramount+ before airing on the Smithsonian Channel May 19th.
The story is centered around an Asian elephant named Kavaan, who’d been in captivity in a zoo in Islamabad for nearly 20 years. While Kavaan had a companion, a female elephant named Saheli, Saheli died in 2012, which is how Kavaan earned his nickname as the “world’s loneliest elephant.”
As noted in the new trailer for Cher and the Loneliest Elephant, elephants are very social creatures, and the effects of such intense isolation — along with poor living conditions — manifested in Kavaan’s erratic behavior. Animal rights activists have been fighting for Kavaan’s release for years, which is how Cher got involved, with the musician ultimately founding Free the Wild to boost the movement. Last May, a Pakistani court finally ordered that Kavaan be set free.
Cher and the Loneliest Elephant chronicles Kavaan’s unique story, while also following Cher as she flew to Pakistan last November and watched the logistically complicated, but ultimately successful effort to relocate Kavaan to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia.
“I was frightened, but then I thought, what do you want to do more?” Cher said of her journey in a statement. “You made a promise, and you have to go. I didn’t see any other way to do it. I have a saying on my Twitter, ’Stand and be counted or sit and be nothing.’ And I wasn’t going to sit and be nothing.”