Anyone needing a bit of cheer, look no further than gay icon and pop legend Cher, who has embarked on a new naturist quest. The singer traveled to the nation of Pakistan to serenade Kaavan, a 35-year-old elephant dubbed the “world’s loneliest.”
Kaavan grew up in isolation in the Pakistani city of Islamabad, originally a gift to the country by its island neighbor Sri Lanka. Due to the political and financial unrest in Pakistan over the past four decades, Kaavan lived in less-than-ideal conditions, often living in tight confines and less than healthy conditions. Handlers also forced him to perform for tourists. CBS News reports that his only companion, an elephant named Saheli, died in 2012. Kaavan’s own mental and physical health deteriorated thereafter, prompting international attention.
Animal rights groups began campaigning for Kaavan’s relocation to a wildlife sanctuary, which prompted the involvement of Cher. The Moonstruck star, along with businessman Eric Margolis and the group Four Paws International, helped raise funds for Kaavan’s move to a sanctuary in Cambodia.
In a kind of awesome twist, Cher actually traveled to Pakistan to meet with Kaavan ahead of his big move. Video also captured the singer performing the Disney standard “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinerella to entertain the packaderm.
The footage, released to Instagram (just scroll past the initial photo), is part of a forthcoming documentary titled Cher’s Elephant Airlift, set to debut on the Smithsonain Channel next year.