ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani court on Saturday approved the relocation of an elephant, to a sprawling animal sanctuary in Cambodia after animal rights activists launched a campaign saying the pachyderm that spent three decades in the Islamic nation was being mistreated at the capital's small zoo, officials said.

The decision was hailed by the World Wide Fund for Nature, which said its representative in Pakistan “has been part of the continuous efforts to address welfare issues regarding Kaavan," the 33-year-old elephant that was given to Pakistan in 1985 by Sri Lanka, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The group had proposed that the animal be moved a 25,000-acre sanctuary in Cambodia, which already houses elephants and has rehabilitated over 80 elephants so far.

Mian Aslam Amin, Pakistan's federal minister for climate change, called the ruling by the Islamabad High Court a “sad but correct decision," which he said was made for the benefit Kavan, the lone elephant at Islamabad's zoo.

He said Kaavan would be relocated, but gave no dates for it.

The elephant was well-loved by children and was treated well until recent years when it was chained. Authorities had said that was done for the safety of visitors after observing occasional aggression in the animal's mood.

Pakistani advisor on climate change Malik Amin Aslam stands as Elephant Kaavan is seen behind a fence at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad on July 18, 2020. - A Pakistani court approved the relocation of a lonely and mistreated elephant to Cambodia on July 18 after the pachyderm became the subject of a high-profile rights campaign backed by music star Cher. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)