April 22 (UPI) -- Cher is looking back on her years-long effort to rescue an elephant in captivity.
Cher said she first learned of Kaavan after seeing his story on Twitter and tweets calling to "#FreeKaavan."
"When I saw the pictures and I knew it was an elephant, and I thought, 'Well, if I don't answer, if I don't say anything, it will stop,'" she recalled.
Cher thought there was "no way" she could help but ended up reaching out to singer Bob Geldof's manager, whom she had met years prior. Geldof's manager lived in South Africa and had experience rescuing elephants.
"I called him, and this is years later, and I said, 'Hi, you may not remember me but this is Cher.' We wrote in the card, 'Can you help me save an elephant?' And he said, 'Of course,'" Cher said. "He said, 'I will go right away,' and he did."
"This elephant had been shackled his entire life. He is 37," she added. "And [Geldof's manager] said, take the shackles off. Put water in there, put a top on his little area that he lived in. And that is how we started."
Cher said it took four years to move Kaavan from the Pakistani zoo to a Cambodian wildlife sanctuary.
"They wouldn't release him until I came to get him. I think that they thought I wouldn't go get him," she said.
Cher's journey to save Kaavan is chronicled in the new documentary Cher & the Loneliest Elephant, which premiered Thursday on Paramount+.
"Elephants are just like we are. They're so family oriented and emotional and so I wanted to free him," Cher said in a trailer for the film released this month.