QUIRKY WORLD ... Hey... I got you babe. Cher helps out a lonely elephant

PAKISTAN: The plight of a lonely elephant in a Pakistani zoo has inspired help from pop icon Cher.

Cher first became aware of 29-year-old Kavaan’s plight when pictures of the elephant in chains with only a dilapidated shed for shelter and a small, dirty pond to play in spread on social media.

Cher sent her representative, Mark Cowne, to Islamabad to check up on Kavaan, who has been kept chained for 27 of his 29 years at the Maraghazar Zoo in Islamabad.

“Mark got Kaavan Water, Shade & Unchained. MARK IS TRYING EVERYTHING TO FREE HIM,” Cher tweeted after Mr Cowne visited the zoo.

Mr Cowne told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper Cher would soon launch an international campaign to help elephants in captivity.

Kavaan’s caretakers last week said they had never heard of Cher or her music but were grateful for her help. “We hope this will change things for him,” said Kavaan’s caretaker, Muhammad Jalal, as another caretaker sprayed the animal with a high-pressure hose while he bathed in a pond of muddy water.

Zoo management did not respond to calls seeking comment but told reporters last month that they were trying to get a new mate for Kavaan from Sri Lanka.

Kavaan was given to Pakistan by Sri Lanka in the 1980s. His only companion died in 2012.

Mice, mice baby

ENGLAND: Rare hazel dormice are being released into the Yorkshire Dales national park as part of efforts to stem declines in the species.

Some 38 dormice, a native British mammal, are being released at an undisclosed location in woodland near Aysgarth by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The once common hazel dormouse has suffered from the loss of woods and hedgerow habitat and changes to countryside practices in the last century.

Warning signs

SOUTH KOREA: Seoul is installing 300 street signs to warn pedestrians about the dangers of walking while engrossed in their smartphones .

The first signs have been installed at five locations in the hope that they will stop “smartphone zombies” in their tracks, the Korea Times reports. One sign at a major traffic intersection shows a person staring at a handheld device, oblivious to their imminent collision with a car, the BBC reports.

While some signs are attached to traffic light poles, others have been plastered on to pavements in order to attract the lowered gaze of those distracted by their gadgets.

But some locals are not sure that signage is the solution. One man points out that “most people who are peering at their phones on the street aren’t going to be able to see them”.

Ducking out

USA: One New Jersey restaurant has duck on its menu and ducklings jumping off its roof.

Seven ducklings hatched on the roof of the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, then wanted to follow their mother to the ground. Office manager Adria Alfro says workers spotted the nest several weeks ago and shielded it from customers.

Ms Alfro says when her boss, Jennifer Lampert, arrived on Thursday, the mother duck was on the ground quacking. Then she felt something brush by her and realised the ducklings were jumping.

The sous chef used his hat to catch two of the ducklings, and Ms Alfro stopped traffic so the family could cross the street and enter a lake.


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