Cher and the Loneliest Elephant

Cher says she serenaded elephant she saved in Pakistan ‘really badly’ with Frank Sinatra

‘It was so frightening for a singer, but then I thought, ‘What the hell,’’ the singer said. ‘And what does Kaavan know? He hasn't gone to any concert’

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Thursday 22 April 2021 18:11
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For much of the past year, Cher has been involved in a global campaign to free an elephant named Kaavan.

The 36-year-old, four-ton, malnourished Asian elephant spent almost 20 years of life chained up in a Pakistan zoo.

Upon meeting Kaavan, the singer and actor fed him watermelon and serenaded him “really badly” with Frank Sinatra's “My Way”.

“It was so frightening for a singer, but then I thought, ‘What the hell,’” Cher told USA Today. “And what does Kaavan know? He hasn't gone to any concert.”

Kaavan’s only partner died of neglect in 2012, prompting campaigners to label him the “world’s loneliest elephant”.

A prolific Twitter user, Cher recently said, “I never actually intended to [get involved], I just got swept up in it because the kids on my site, 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.”

The 74-year-old singer also recorded the song “Walls” to raise awareness of the campaign and in May 2020 a Pakistan court ordered that Kaavan was freed.

In November, the “Strong Enough” star travelled to Pakistan to secure Kaavan’s release and his move to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia.

The story is captured in a new documentary called Cher & The Loneliest Elephant, which premieres in the UK at 8pm on 22 April on the Smithsonian Channel (available on Sky, Virgin, Freeview and Freesat).

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