We’ve seen Cher rocket up the record charts for decades, resulting in the entertainment icon having a Number One single on a Billboard chart in each of the last six decades. Now however, we are watching her take on a completely different kind of passion, as she races to the other side of the world, traveling to Pakistan in an effort to save “the world’s loneliest elephant” Kaavan. Sparked by a worldwide social media campaign and joined by expert wildlife veterinarians, animal aid groups and sanctuary owners, the group takes on the challenge of moving a four-ton elephant over 2,3000 miles during a global pandemic.
A four-ton, malnourished elephant, Kaavan spent close to twenty years held in chains, being prodded to beg for tips while living in a tiny shack-like structure under the scorching Islamabad sun. Health problems ensued from these conditions, which includes depression, angry psychosis and obesity. Making matters worse, Kaavan’s only mate died of neglect. Becoming the poster elephant for the plight of captive animals, the subsequent firestorm caught Cher’s attention. Founding the group Free The Wild with partners Mark Cowne, Gine Nelthorpe Cowne and Jennifer Ruiz to boost the movement, and recording the anthemic song ‘Walls’, bringing further attention to Kaavan’s plight.
“I saw all the people being affected by it all over the world,” said Cher, who first learned of Kaavan’s plight via online activists looking for her help. “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.” She went on to say “I was frightened, but then I thought, what do you want to do more? You made a promise, and you have to go. I didn’t see any other way to do it. I have a saying on my Twitter, ’Stand and be counted or sit and be nothing.’ And I wasn’t going to sit and be nothing.”
Beginning on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, this journey starts with the world premiere of ‘Cher & The Loneliest Elephant’, launching on Paramount+ in the US, in addition to premiering on Smithsonian Channel in the UK, Latin America and Brazil.
The US Smithsonian Channel premiere scheduled on Wednesday, May 19th at 8pm ET/PT.
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