ISLAMABAD - The Marghazar Zoo of the federal capital has regained its attraction as male elephant named `Kavan’, previously an aggressive and antisocial animal, has now turned people-friendly and amuses the visitors like her dead female partner.

“Kavan is people-friendly now. He allows people to have photos with him and ride as well,” Bilal, the mahout told APP on Tuesday. He revealed that it is up to the mahouts to tame the animals with any particular conduct, adding now it is friendly and amusing the zoo visitors.

Taming the elephant as people-friendly also goes to the benefit of mahouts who mint money from the visitors while arranging photo session and ride for children.

The zoo had lost its attraction with the mysterious death of female elephant `Saheli’ on May 1 last year at age of 23, after brief illness. She had been friendly with the children allowing them ride on her back and swing on the trunk. After Saheli’s death, Bilal and his fellows had lost a permanent and unaudited source of earning.

The male elephant had volatile behaviour particularly with the visitors that had compelled the zoo administration to keep the animal chained inside the barn. Contrarily, the male elephant was of opposite nature allowing none to have contact with him. In 1992, the animal had also killed Sharif Masih, a sweeper as he reached closer to him.

The male elephant is said to be attached with mahout Bilal and allowed no other keeper to serve fodder in the barn. He said after Saheli’s death, Kavan also fell sick and even now seems to be missing her female partner.

The Authority has recently floated tenders to import female elephant, a lion and snakes but the project is yet to be executed.