Despite treatment by foreign veterinarians, the prolonged suffering of Karachi Zoo’s elephant Noor Jehan culminated in a tragic end on Saturday.
According to Dr Syed Saifur Rahman, the Administrator of Karachi, the elephant had been battling fever for several days, and despite all efforts to save her, she could not be rescued.
Noor Jehan had been under the care of world-renowned experts and the international animal welfare organization Four Paws had even come to Karachi to provide assistance.
The Director of Karachi Zoo, Kanwar Ayub, revealed that the elephant had been unwell since November 2022 and passed away at 11:15 am today.
The Four Paws team is now on their way to Karachi to perform a post-mortem examination on the 17-year-old elephant’s body. The international animal welfare organization expressed their sorrow on Twitter, announcing that they were heartbroken to share the news of Noor Jehan’s passing.
With a broken heart we must inform you that #NoorJehan passed away this morning. 💔
After an unfortunate incident that left her unable to leave the pool in her enclosure, Noor Jehan was unable to stand up on her own.
📷: PAWS | Mahera Omar pic.twitter.com/ePnY2TiPkE
— FOUR PAWS UK (@FourPawsUK) April 22, 2023
In an effort to assist the ailing 17-year-old elephant Noor Jehan at Karachi Zoo, a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts from Four Paws visited earlier this month. Noor Jehan’s condition had rapidly deteriorated from limping to partial paralysis, and the team identified an internal hematoma and damaged pelvic floor as the primary sources of her pain and physical distress. They provided immediate pain relief treatments and rehabilitation recommendations for Noor Jehan. Four Paws had been recommending relocating Noor Jehan and her companion Madhubala to a more appropriate environment that meets international standards since 2021. The authorities had agreed to relocate the elephants as soon as Noor Jehan was well enough to be moved.
After a video of Noor Jehan struggling to stand went viral on social and mainstream media, calls to shut down the zoo for its inability to care for the animals have doubled, with Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman and Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari joining in. Bakhtawar called for the closure of Karachi Zoo, stating that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, which manages the zoological garden, is clearly incapable of handling it. Earlier, Administrator Rahman had established a nine-member committee to care for the ailing elephant. The KMC-nominated committee members provided suggestions and recommendations to the administrator on practical measures for Noor Jehan’s well-being and welfare, including treatment and the provision of a natural environment.