A critically ill 17-year-old elephant named Noor Jehan has died at Pakistan’s Karachi Zoo, as the animal welfare charity that was treating her has called for the zoo to be closed.
The elephant was suffering from serious pre-existing diseases Falling into a pool last weekFour Paws said in a statement.
The elephant’s health has deteriorated rapidly in the past few weeks and she is unable to stand.
“She spent a great deal of time lying on the ground – a life-threatening situation for elephants,” the group said.
“Despite all our tireless efforts and the endless work of the team on site, we were unable to get her back on her feet. She fought for days but succumbed to her critical condition,” she added.
Animal groups say elephants in captivity are usually stillborn by the time they reach 40 years old, which is a much lower life expectancy than those in the wild.
Four Paws called for the zoo’s other elephant, Madhubala, to be moved to a “more species-friendly site as soon as possible, to prevent another possible tragedy.”
“We hope that the authorities in Pakistan will take Noor Jehan’s sad fate as an example and do better for the country’s captive wild animals in the future. Noor Jehan represents the many wild animals that suffer in captivity, in Pakistan and across the world,” the group said.
“We welcome that the Federal Government and the Government of Sindh are considering closing the Karachi Zoo permanently. This could be a turning point in the welfare of wild animals in captivity in Pakistan,” the statement continued.
Reuters reported that the director of the Karachi Zoo, Khalid Hashmi, was sacked from his role on April 8 due to complaints of neglect.
His successor, Kanwar Ayub, said he was unsure whether the complaints were valid in the week after Fourbow’s visit.
“However, there was no negligence in the three days that I was appointed, which is guaranteed,” he said Friday, noting the possibility of negligence over time.
Reuters said Noor Jehan was brought to Pakistan from Tanzania more than a decade ago.
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