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.