In a major victory for animals, the Pakistani zoo known for housing the “world’s loneliest elephant,” Kaavan, has finally closed down for good. Kaavan went to a sanctuary in northern Cambodia a few weeks ago. And the last two animals living at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad — Himalayan bears named Bubloo and Suzie — were just relocated to a sanctuary in Jordan.
Bubloo and Suzie safely arrived at their destination, but the pair have a long road of healing ahead of them. Raised as dancing bears, they were beaten into submission from a young age, and Suzie’s teeth were removed to prevent her from attacking her handler before she was sent to the zoo, Mail Online reported.
While at the zoo, Suzie allegedly suffered with an infection after having surgery to remove a tumor, leaving her with a gaping chest wound that surgeons were unable to close. Surgeons from elsewhere traveled to the zoo and closed Suzie’s wound after she spent several months in pain. She also suffered from malnutrition resulting from her lack of teeth.
Both bears exhibit behaviors typical of stress, boredom, and mistreatment, according to non-profit Four Paws medic Dr. Amir Khalil, who first visited the zoo in 2016 and cited its conditions as “poor.”
Four Paws facilitated the bears’ move after relocating Kaavan, a 35-year-old Asian elephant who languished in captivity at the zoo for nearly his entire life and spent roughly eight years in solitary confinement after his cagemate passed away. Kaavan is reportedly doing well, making friends, and losing weight after moving in November.
A judge ordered the relocation of all the zoo’s animals in May. Unfortunately, two lions died when zookeepers lit bales of hay on fire in an attempt to drive the felines out of their enclosure. Since May, 500 of the zoo’s 960 animals on record somehow disappeared. The rest were left in “deeply neglected conditions,” according to Dr. Khalil.
Thankfully, animals like Kaavan, Suzie, and Bubloo are receiving the second chance at life that they deserve, and no other innocent creatures will suffer at this now-defunct zoo.