KARACHI: The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has made the decision to move two elephants, Noor Jehan and Madhubala, from the Karachi Zoological Gardens to the Safari Park within a month.
The KMC has pledged full support to the international animal welfare organization, Four Paws, which is currently attempting to save Noor Jehan’s life at the zoo. Karachi Administrator Dr Saif-ur-Rehman has stated that all departments are ready to provide any logistical support necessary for medical procedures, and preparations are being made to transfer both elephants to Safari Park as recommended by experts.
The Four Paws team has received praise from the administrator, who says that they have come to Karachi to save Noor Jehan’s life after carrying out several animal welfare and rescue missions around the world. Noor Jehan has been suffering from neurological deficiencies for the past two to three months, which have severely affected her hind legs.
As the required treatment for her condition is not available in Pakistan, the international group was approached to diagnose her illness and provide treatment if possible. The administrator has offered complete support to the team for Noor Jehan’s medical assessment and treatment.
A year ago, Four Paws recommended in a report that zoo elephants be moved to the Safari Park, which is a more appropriate facility for the species as it houses two more elephants and has reduced noise pollution. Experts have also suggested that elephants should live in a herd as per their natural environment.
Representing Four Paws, Dr Amir Khalil has emphasized the need for joint efforts to save Noor Jehan’s life. A detailed medical assessment is needed to diagnose her illness, which includes an endoscopy, ultrasounds, and X-rays. Dr Khalil has stated that they do not know what went wrong with her, but her condition has deteriorated rapidly over the past few weeks, and she has a 50-50 chance of survival. During the procedure, a crane will be arranged to keep the sedated animal standing to prevent her from falling and to carry out tests.
The Four Paws team has made its fourth visit to the Karachi zoo and performed major tusk surgeries on Noor Jehan and Madhubala last year. The team submitted a report in 2021 to the Sindh High Court, recommending steps for elephants’ welfare, including shifting the zoo elephants to Safari Park. Both Noor Jehan and Madhubala, along with two other Safari elephants, were brought to Karachi under a controversial agreement after being caught and separated from their mothers at a very young age in Tanzania in 2010.