Ailing elephant Noor Jehan passes away at Karachi Zoo

Zoo director said elephant passed away at 11:15 am today after suffering from ill health since November 2022

Our Correspondent April 22, 2023


The lingering misery of Karachi Zoo elephant Noor Jehan came to a tragic end as she succumbed to her ailments on Saturday, despite treatment by foreign veterinarians.

According to Administrator Karachi Dr Syed Saifur Rahman, the elephant was suffering from fever for the past several days, and all efforts were made to save her.

Rahman said that Noor Jehan was treated under the supervision of world-class experts, with the international animal welfare organization Four Paws also coming to Karachi for her treatment.

Talking to media personnel, Karachi Zoo Director Kanwar Ayub said the elephant passed away at 11:15 am today after suffering from ill health since November 2022.

He furthered that the Four Paws team were en route to Karachi. They will perform a post-mortem examination on the 17-year-old elephant's body.

The international animal welfare organisation tweeted that it was 'heart broken' to inform of Noor Jehan's passing.

"With a broken heart we must inform you that #NoorJehan passed away this morning," Four Paws tweeted.

Ailing Noor Jehan 

Earlier this month, a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts from Four Paws visited Karachi to aid 17-year-old suffering elephant Noor Jehan at the Karachi Zoo.

Noor Jehan’s suffering began with limping and deteriorated quickly to a worrying condition that left her partly paralysed. During the examination the experts identified an internal hematoma and a damaged pelvic floor as the main sources of her pain and physical distress. They provided immediate pain relief treatments and further recommendations for Noor Jehan’s rehabilitation.

Since 2021, Four Paws has recommended relocating Noor Jehan and her companion Madhubala to a species-appropriate place that fulfills international standards. The authorities had finally committed to relocate both the elephants as soon as Noor Jehan was healthy enough to be moved.

A video of Noor Jehan limping and struggling to stand went viral on social and mainstream media last week, sparking public outcry.

Calls to shut down the zoo owing to its incapacity to care for the wild animals caged there had since doubled, with Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman and Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari also joining in.

"Karachi Zoo should be shut down because it is clearly beyond the capacity of KMC," Bakhtawar said in a tweet, referring to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, which runs the zoological garden.

Earlier, Rahman had formed a nine-member committee to take care of the ailing elephant. Members of the committee nominated by KMC provided suggestions and recommendations to the administrator on the well-being and welfare of the elephant, including treatment and the provision of a natural environment for practical measures.


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