International animal welfare group Four Paws has reached Karachi on April 4 to examine and begin treatment of ailing elephant, Noor Jehan. In a press release posted on their website, Four Paws revealed that since 2021, they have been strongly recommending that both elephants Noor Jehan and Madhubala are shifted from Karachi Zoo, as the facility does not comply with international standards of providing habitable living conditions for animals.
“However, no such measures to relocate them have been taken,” the post read.
The team was led by the head of the organization, Dr Amir Khalil, along with Dr Frank Göritz and Prof Dr Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibnitz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), and Dr Marina Ivanova from FOUR PAWS. Khalil spoke to journalists about Noor Jehan’s condition yesterday, as reported by Dawn and Express Tribune.
He said that Jehan needs a detailed medical examination which includes endoscopy, ultrasound and X-rays, in order to provide proper insight into her condition.
“We don’t know what went wrong with her. But, her condition has deteriorated very fast within a few weeks. She has got swelling on her hind legs as well as genital parts and she could barely walk. Right now, she has a 50-50 chance for survival,” he said.
Khalil went on to reveal that their team was setting up a crane, wench and a fire brigade to help the animal remain stable and upright during surgery:
“Our greatest concern is not to let the animal fall down. We fear that if Noor Jehan falls down, she it will not get up again. We will find out tomorrow whether it’s a fracture, trauma or an infection.”
Today, the Karachi Metropolitan Center (KMC) spoke to DAWN and revealed that they were ready to facilitate the team in every way to help the elephants, and were making preparations to send them to Safari Park:
“We are with Four Paws. All departments are ready to arrange any logistics needed for medical procedures. We are also making preparations to shift both zoo elephants to Safari Park within a month as per experts’ recommendation,” said Dr. Saif-ur-Rehman, Karachi Administrator.
Rehman went on to add that Noor Jehan had been suffering from a neurological deficiency for the past two or three months which had impacted her hind legs. The government did not have the facilities for the treatment Noor Jehan needed in Pakistan which is why the international group was approached to help diagnose her illness and provide a solution.
“The kind of treatment Noor Jehan requires isn’t available in Pakistan. So, we approached the international group to help us diagnose her illness and suggest and offer treatment, if possible,” Dr Rehman said.