Human Interest

Vets struggle to save ailing African elephant at Pakistani zoo

Islamabad, Apr 14 (EFE).- Veterinarians toiled hard on Friday to save a seriously ill 17-year-old African elephant who had fallen in a pond at a zoo in southern Pakistan.

Noor Jehan is one of Pakistan’s last four captive African elephants and has been very ill for months.

Last week, a vet team from FOUR PAWS, a Vienna-based animal welfare organization, visited Karachi to treat the ailing mammal.

The foreign vets treated her and made her stand up before they returned home.

But on Thursday Jehan fell into a pond and was pulled out using a crane, Amir Khalil, head of the team that treated her, told EFE.

“She is not good at all. It is important to bring her back on her feet,” Khalil told EFE from Cairo.

Video footage on social media showed the elephant lying on the ground, almost still.

Her eyes were only half open, with barely any movement.

Social media users and wildlife activists have raised questions about the ability of her zoo keepers.

“Zoos are evil torture chambers. They serve no place in conservation,” Anika Saleem,” a wildlife rights activist, tweeted while sharing the video of Noor Jehan.

Noor Jehan’s suffering began with limping. Her health deteriorated quickly to a worrying condition that left her partially paralyzed.

“We identified internal hematoma and a damaged pelvic floor as the main sources of her pain and physical distress,” Khalil said.

The vet said his team had recommended the relocation of Noor Jehan and her companion Madhubala to a species-appropriate place with international standards.

Madhubala is not in good condition and was medically examined last week.

“They have finally committed to relocate both elephants as soon as Noor Jehan is healthy enough,” Khalil said.

On Friday, Khalil and his other team members examined Noor Jehan virtually and suggested medication for her immediate treatment.

“The chances (of her survival) are not good but we are trying,” Khalil said.

He said Noor Jehan and Mabhubala lived at Karachi Zoo.

The two other captive African elephants, Sonu and Malika, are at Karachi Safari Park. All lived in not-so-good conditions.

The four elephants were captured from the wild and brought to Pakistan in 2009. EFE

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