Islamabad’s only zoo shuts after last animals moved

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Staff Reporter

The only zoo in Islamabad was closed on Wednesday after its last occupants were relocated abroad. Two Himalayan bears named Bubloo and Suzie were the last to leave the facility, almost three weeks after the country’s only Asian elephant Kaavan, was flown to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia.
“The Islamabad zoo is now completely closed for both public and officials, a spokesman for Pakistan’s ministry of climate change disclosed. Both the bears are being flown to a sanctuary in Jordan.
The move was arranged with the help of Four Paws International — the same group that spearheaded the relocation of Kaavan whose plight was championed by singer and Oscar-winning American actress Cher. She flew to Pakistan to see the elephant’s departure, and then to Cambodia to watch him arrive.
The ailing health of Kaavan, an overweight, 35-year-old bull, highlighted the woeful state of Islamabad’s zoo, where conditions were so bad that the Islamabad High Court judge in May ordered all animals to be moved. Islamabad Zoo was established in 1978 on 10 hectares of land as a home for indigenous species. Authorities now plan to expand it as a wildlife conservation centre.