Mission to Pakistan


Around 30 animals are living in misery at the Islamabad Zoo

Due to the extremely poor healthcare and inexperienced staff at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, many of these animals have suffered terribly for years. For the past four years, we have observed the Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan, and have reached out to help the animals before, but until now our offers and recommendations were consistently ignored, resulting in further neglect of its animals and leaving many to needlessly suffer and die. However, recently hope has come at last in a decision made by the Islamabad High Court for the immediate closure of the area and approval for the relocation of all the animals. This step comes as a great milestone for animal welfare in Pakistan, not only for the fate of the animals who have suffered in Marghazar Zoo but also because it will open doors for the promotion of more policies supporting animals in the future.

After a lifetime of suffering and surviving in such precarious conditions, these animals can get another chance at life.We now have an opportunity to help the local authorities with the relocation of the remaining captive animals. This mission has to be fast, but by working together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, we're striving to not only provide a new home for the Islamabad animals but also provide these animals with the care that they have been missing for so long.



Stay tuned for further updates about our mission in Pakistan! 

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Kaavan and Dr Amir Khalil

Together with US superstar Cher, we are planning to relocate elephant Kaavan in the next weeks!

The Islamabad High Court has assigned our vet, Dr Amir Khalil, with the logistical organisation and carrying out of Kaavan’s relocation from Pakistan to a sanctuary in Cambodia. In early September, FOUR PAWS gave the green light for the elephant’s transfer after medically examining him. 

The transfer of the world loneliest elephant is supported by the NGO Free The Wild. Its co-founder, US superstar Cher, has been fighting for the elephant’s departure since 2016. With the relocation of Kaavan, not only will Pakistan's last Asian elephant leave the country, but the infamous zoo in Islamabad will finally close!
This will definitely be one of the most difficult missions FOUR PAWS has ever done, but we are optimistic and ready for this challenge. #FreeKaavan. Please donate for Kaavan’s new life.

Our mission to help the animals of the Marghazar Zoo continues!

As you all know, our team travelled to Pakistan at the beginning of September to assist with the relocation of Kaavan, the loneliest elephant in the world, and several other animals remaining at the zoo in Islamabad. After Dr Frank Goeritz and Dr Amir Khalil performed a vet check on Bubloo and Suzie, two former dancing bears, it is clear that their health condition requires urgent attention and specialised care. Bear Suzie especially worries us: she is too skinny, has kidney problems and suffers from an infected surgery wound due to the removal of a tumour. We want to offer Suzie and Bubloo the special care they need in one of our sanctuaries. 
 Stay tuned and keep donating please!

Dr Amir Khalil and elephant Kaavan

There is so much going on in Pakistan right now, that we don’t even know where to start. 

Today, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) appointed Dr Amir Khalil as “amicus curiae”. This means he will be assisting the court in finding a suitable place for the remaining animals at Marghazar Zoo, including the two bears and the loneliest elephant in the world, Kaavan. This is a huge success for our team on-site! Additionally, this morning together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) we transferred 17 rabbits and 5 vervet monkeys to the Ayub Park in their new home with spacious enclosures. A lot of positive things are happening, and we are beyond grateful for your support. Please follow the next steps, especially the stories of #FreeKaavan and the bears. Help us to help them. 

Preparing for transport

Success! We have transferred the first animals!

After an exhausting month for our team in Pakistan, 3 wolves and 2 monkeys are now in their new home with spacious enclosures. Today, together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Dr Amir Khalil and his team have managed to safely transport the animals to the Ayub Park an hour away from the capital. We hope we can do the same for the remaining animals at the Marghazar Zoo.

Please consider to donate and support our work

Bear in the corner in the Islamabad Zoo in Pakistan

Major findings from the vet checks of Suzie & Bubloo at Marghazar Zoo

In the past few days, the team on-site needed to improvise and set up a field hospital, where together with local vets Dr Amir Kahlil and Dr Frank Goeritz from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) could examine the two bears thoroughly under full anesthesia. These are the results of the vet checks:

Female bear Suzie is missing almost all her teeth, which is not uncommon for former dancing bears due to their owners removing them to avoid the animal harming people. The wound from the tumor removal surgery was still open and infected. The vets provided the necessary treatment and made sure her health status is stabilized. Nevertheless, the team found issues with her kidneys and liver, which will need constant monitoring. Additionally, Suzie’s claws have been clipped and her enclosure conditions have been improved. 

Male bear Bubloo
 is in an overall good condition. Almost all his teeth have also been removed but one of the remaining teeth is badly infected and must be removed as soon as possible. Both bears are now receiving nutritious food, following our advice. They will need constant medical attention and care, which currently cannot be provided at Marghazar Zoo. Since none of the sanctuaries in Pakistan are willing to take Suzie and Bubloo, we have offered to rescue them to one of our bear sanctuaries and are expecting the final decision of the government of Pakistan regarding this.

Will you donate for a better future of these two bears?Please support them now.

Vet Amir Khalil with an elephant Kaavan

Kaavan, the loneliest elephant in the world

One of the animals we were invited to support and relocate is elephant Kaavan. We were asked to perform a medical examination to see whether he is fit enough for transport. Under the strictest safety precautions, our team led by Dr. Khalil and Dr. Goeritz from IZW (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research) performed Kaavan's examination. After the elephant was sedated, they took blood samples, measured him, and inserted a microchip in his left shoulder. 
Our team discovered that due to malnutrition and lack of physical exercise, Kaavan shows visible signs of obesity. Also, his nails are cracked and malformed, which can be attributed to the inappropriate flooring and structure of his enclosure. A lack of enrichment as well as the absence of a partner, have resulted in some stereotypical behavior - he is extremely bored and lonely. 
Overall, his general health condition allows him to be relocated. Following our examination and the official report, which will be submitted on Monday, the authorities will decide on the next steps for his relocation. Stay tuned for more updates about Kaavan!  Please support our mission in Pakistan and donate for the animals. 

Dr Amir Khalil & his team are on-site!

Even though traveling is difficult due to all the COVID-19 restrictions, our team managed to get to Islamabad. Today we want to start with much needed vet checks for the remaining animals at Marghazar Zoo.
Join us to help them by donating now!

Bear in a cage

Dr Amir Khalil and his team support the rescue of zoo animals

Two animals are especially in need of urgent help: two former dancing bears. They have no teeth and one of them is suffering from an infected wound, after surgery where a tumor was removed. Together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, we will give our best to help them all as fast as possible. Every minute counts and as usual our team on-site is determined to change the lives of these animals for good. Help now!

Wolves in a cage

Dramatic situation at the Islamabad Zoo!

After a ground-breaking decision from the Islamabad High Court to close down the under-funded Marghazar zoo, an immediate relocation of all the animals was planned. Due to inexperienced animal handlers, a harrowing incident happened, where two lions lost their lives from the effects of the fire. We have been asked to help with the urgent relocation of all the remaining animals. Now we have a chance to change the lives of the bears, wolves, monkeys and rabbits for good. Will you donate for these desperate animals?


FOUR PAWS made an assessment report of the establishment with clear recommendations for improvements of food and physical care of the animals as well as a veterinary training program and health treatment guidelines. 


 Help us to end the suffering of captive animals in the Islamabad Zoo


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