Elephant Noor Jehan Critically Ill at Karachi Zoo After Fall

By Reuters
April 17, 2023Asia & Pacific
Elephant Noor Jehan Critically Ill at Karachi Zoo After Fall
African elephant Noor Jahan, 17, who is unwell, rests on a sand pile, at a zoo in Karachi, Pakistan, on April 14, 2023. (Akhtar Soomro/TPX Images of the Day/Reuters)

KARACHI, Pakistan—Noor Jehan, an elephant in Pakistan’s Karachi Zoo, is critically ill after the 17-year-old fell in a pond on Thursday in a small enclosure.

Right after the fall Four Paws, a global animal welfare organization, recommended lifting Noor Jehan with a crane, ropes, and belts. She has since been lying visibly weak with limited motion on a mound of sand, propped up against the only tree inside the enclosure.

“Her condition is very critical at the moment. We are trying everything to save her,” Four Paws spokeswoman Katharina Braun said by email. “It is very important that she gets up as soon as possible, laying too long on the ground … can be life threatening.”

Noor Jehan is suffering from a huge hematoma, or pool of clotted blood, inside her abdomen in addition to intestinal issues, Four Paws member Dr. Amir Khalil said during his visit to treat her last week. The veterinarian from Egypt had then given Noor Jehan a strong chance of survival.

Khalid Hashmi was removed as director of Karachi Zoo on April 8 over complaints of negligence.

His successor, Kanwar Ayub, said he was unsure if the complaints were true in the week following the vet’s visit. “However, there has been no negligence in the three days I have been appointed, guaranteed,” he said on Friday, noting possible negligence over time.

In 2020, American singer Cher arrived in Pakistan to send off Kaavan, an elephant in Islamabad Zoo she had spent years trying to free, before his move to a Cambodian sanctuary.

Animal rights advocates had campaigned for the 36-year-old Asian elephant to be rescued from grim conditions.

By Ariba Shahid

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