Saying goodbye: 22-year-old Saheli passes away at Islamabad zoo

An elephant’s life is 90 to 110 years of age. Unfortunately Saheli's was cut short.

Maha Mussadaq May 01, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A 22-year-old elephant gifted by the Sri Lanka government to Pakistan in 1991 passed away at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The elephant, named Saheli, had been brought to Pakistan to be partnered with a male elephant named Kaavan when she was one-year-old.

Faiz Mohammad, the caretaker of the elephants, wiped his tears as he narrated the story of losing Saheli. “I have been taking care of her ever since she was a year old,” he said. “She was like my own child.”

Mohammad said Saheli had been injured a few days back and was in a lot of pain. He said Saheli had been limping and her movement had slowed down.

Doctors had been coming in to check and treat the elephant for the last two days.

An elephant’s life is 90 to 110 years of age, unfortunately Saheli was 22 years old and lived a short life at the zoo.


Dr Saleem Sulheri, a veterinarian at the zoo, said that the body will be buried and the fossils will be extracted for preservation at Pakistan Museum of Natural History in Shakarparian.

The display of the elephant's skeleton would add another attraction to Islamabad, as recently a whale shark was brought here from Karachi to after it was found dead on seashore.


Vishnu Dutta | 9 years ago | Reply

@A. Khan: Technically he is right. first you bury the body, then wait for a million year or so and then extract the fossils. sounds like a plan to me.

A Umar | 9 years ago | Reply

Over the years, we have had the chance to visit the Marghzar Zoo a few times and both my children have enjoyed watching Saheli. We infact visited just a couple of days back and happened to notice Saheli lying in her shed. Little did we know, it was the last time we would ever get to see her. Rest in peace Saheli. I am sure you have brought great joy to thousands of children n their parents in your short life. I am pretty sure her caretaker would have loved her n looked after her well all her life, given the limited recources in our country. The cause of her death should be investigated and all those responsible for her neglect, if any, should be brought to task.

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