Social media got together to raise its voice for Noor Jehan, one of the elephants at Karachi Zoo, who was suffering from a joint and bone disease which had left her hind legs completely paralyzed. Pictures of the distressed elephant emerged on Twitter, prompting animal rights activists to demand that the government help with proper treatment and for her to be sent to an elephant sanctuary.
Government officials have responded with Salman Sufi, Head of Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Strategic Reforms, and Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah pledging to provide immediate medical aid, as well as monitor reports of poor facilities at Karachi Zoo.
Sufi shared a screenshot of Noor Jehan’s medical test on Twitter, writing that Karachi administration was keeping in touch with Four Paws, a global animal welfare organization that focuses on improving the living conditions of animals.
“Thank you to everyone who keeps raising voice for #NoorJehan Her tests are being conducted regularly and so is the checkup. Karachi administration has assured of their cooperation with four paws. Team from Punjab wildlife is also arriving this week. We will keep pursuing.”
The Current reached out to Sufi to ask how Noor Jehan is being provided with medical treatment and his response was:
“Four Paws have been invited to assess the elephant and Wildlife Punjab has also been sent to assist them. Safari Park Karachi special room is also being constructed for her and regular tests are also being conducted.”
When asked about whether the government is taking action on reports of negligence, especially food supply because of which many animals and birds were reportedly left to starve, Sufi said:
“We are monitoring those reports and have requested the Karachi administration. Government of Sindh is actively pursuing this issue as well.”
In regards to the vocal call by activists to shift Noor Jehan to an elephant sanctuary, Sufi responded that they would be following the doctor’s orders on what is best for the elephant.
Nasir Hussain Shah visited Karachi Zoo on Monday, where he stated that an inquiry regarding the reports that food supply for animals had been cut off had been initiated and revealed that no such issues were found. He said that a team of doctors is arriving from Vienna. The government is in contact with them to provide the elephant with all the resources she needs.
Yesterday, The News reported that Sindh Governor Muhammad Kamran Khan Tessori made a visit to Karachi Zoo, where he told reporters that allegations regarding political support to the zoo staff was false, and action shall be taken against anyone found guilty for spreading this rumor. Moreover, Tessori also revealed that the government was holding an inquiry over the treatment and care of Noor Jehan.
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