New Documentary Shows How Cher Helped the World's Loneliest Elephant Find Freedom and Friends

Cher helped the world's loneliest elephant believe in love again.

In November, the star, 74, worked with animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS to relocate Kaavan, a 36-year-old elephant languishing alone in a zoo, from Pakistan to a Cambodian sanctuary filled with friendly rescue elephants.

Now, animal lovers and Cher fans can learn how the successful rescue operation came to be in the upcoming Paramount+ and Smithsonian Channel documentary Cher & The Loneliest Elephant, set to premiere on Earth Day, April 22.

The film will explore how Cher put her celebrity to good use, spurring on a social media campaign to save the "world's loneliest elephant," a title Kaavan earned by spending eight years alone at the zoo following the death of his partner. Working with vet experts, international sanctuaries, FOUR PAWS, and other animal aid groups, Cher was part of the team that made it possible for Kaavan to be released from the zoo and transported 2,300 miles to his new sanctuary home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cher first learned of Kaavan's plight online, where she discovered the elephant had spent years living in a small shed at the zoo, enduring Pakistan's scorching heat and other damaging living conditions. She was so moved by the animal lovers fighting for the creature that she co-founded Free The Wild with partners Mark Cowne, Gine Nelthorpe Cowne, and Jennifer Ruiz — a non-profit is dedicated to stopping the suffering of wild animals in captivity.

Kaavan became the poster child of Free the Wild, with Cher even recording the original song "Walls" to raise awareness about his situation. The efforts of all those fighting for Kaavan paid off in May 2020, when the Pakistani high court ordered that Kaavan be freed, which eventually led to his November transport.

Cher & The Loneliest Elephant offers a front-row seat to the challenges that arise when you have to move a four-ton elephant across the world during a pandemic and how Cher had a hands-on role in making this final step to freedom possible for Kaavan.

"People want a happy ending. People don't want to see animals suffer. And I know people are suffering too, but this is a story that can brighten their lives," Cher shared about the film in a statement.

"It's truly remarkable to witness what can happen when people come together to pursue a shared mission," James Blue, the head of Smithsonian Channel & SVP MTV News and Docs, added.

Cher & The Loneliest Elephant, produced by Nutshell TV Ltd. and Two Wise Monkeys Entertainment for Smithsonian Channel and Terra Mater Factual Studios, will premiere on Paramount+ on April 22.

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