Sinatra songs help calm unhappy elephant

Amir Khalil, head of project development at FOUR PAWS International, sedates Kaavan, an elephant at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, on September 4, 2020.
Amir Khalil, head of project development at FOUR PAWS International, sedates Kaavan, an elephant at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, on September 4, 2020.
Image: REUTERS/ SAIYNA BASHIR

The trick to calming an unhappy elephant? Sing him Frank Sinatra songs, according to one of the vets tasked with assessing whether Kaavan can be moved from poor conditions in a zoo in Pakistan's capital to a sanctuary in Cambodia.

Amir Khalil is in Islamabad with welfare organisation Four Paws to determine whether Kaavan is safe to travel after a Pakistan court ruled in May that all animals at Islamabad's zoo must be set free or transferred to a better environment.

“When we arrived 10 days ago ... I started to train him and to sing to him and he accommodated me so we have a relationship,” he said, adding he chose Sinatra's hit My Way.

But even with Sinatra, it is no easy feat moving an elephant thousands of miles.

Four Paws experts fired darts with a sedative so they could give the sleepy animal a comprehensive check up. — Reuters


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