Ailing Pakistan’s zoo elephant Noor Jehan may be euthanised after collapsing - GulfToday

Ailing Pakistan’s zoo elephant Noor Jehan may be euthanised after collapsing


Mahouts feed elephant Noor Jehan at the Karachi Zoo in Karachi on Wednesday. AFP

Animal experts will decide in coming days whether an ailing elephant at the Karachi Zoo needs to be euthanised after it collapsed in its pen last week and has since failed to stand up, officials said.

The 17-year-old African elephant, Noor Jehan, underwent emergency treatment for a tumour in Karachi on April 5, but collapsed days later and has since lain stricken on its side.

The pitiful plight of Noor Jehan is being shared by animal rights activists on social media in Pakistan and abroad, prompting calls for the zoo to be shut down.

: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the policy of increasing interest rate to reduce inflation has failed, so the interest rate should not be increased further.   Rather, other methods should be used to contain inflation and provide some relief to the masses.   Mian Zahid Hussain said that an increase in the interest rates was followed by the failure of banks in the US and EU which damaged their economy, therefore instead of repeating the experiences of these countries, lessons should be learned from them.   Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that frequent increase in interest rate in Pakistan is not serving any purpose but to disturb the business community and the public, and it is leading to bank defaults.   The causes of inflation in Pakistan are the continuous increase in the value of the dollar more than the demand for commodities, continuous decrease in the value of the rupee, and holding containers loaded with goods worth more than five billion dollars at the ports, which leads to the lack of essential commodities and raw materials in the country.  Veterinarians examine elephant Noor Jehan at the Karachi Zoo. AFP

Pakistan's zoos are frequently accused of disregarding animal welfare, and in 2020 a court ordered the only facility in the country's capital to close because of its decrepit state.

Noor Jehan's fate now lies with a committee waiting for the arrival of Amir Khalil, the Austria-based chief vet of animal charity Four Paws International.

Khalil, who led the team that treated Noor Jehan for the tumour, told AFP he wanted to have "one last try" at helping the pachyderm recover.

"We will fight till the last for her recovery, and the rest is in the hands of Allah," said Kanwar Ayub, the director of Karachi Zoo. "We are diligently following Four Paws instructions for Noor Jehan's treatment."

Noor Jehan is still eating despite being on her side, pin-pricked by drips and regularly doused with water to cool her down. "Her condition remains critical and uncertain," Four Paws said.

Vet Khalil said the focus would likely shift to Noor Jehan's pen pal, Madhubala, with the hope of finding her better accommodation. "We will do what we can for Noor Jehan but really we need to move the other animal," he said.

In 2019 Islamabad's zoo was shut down after drawing international condemnation for its treatment of an Asian elephant named Kaavan.

Kavaan was later airlifted to retirement in Cambodia in a project spearheaded by US popstar and actor Cher, and carried out by Four Paws.

Agence France-Presse

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