13 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Four Paws points out critical, uncertain health condition of ailing elephant

Austria-based veterinarian Amir Khalil says he wanted to have ‘one last try’ at helping 17-year-old suffering African elephant at Karachi Zoo

Four Paws International has confirmed that health condition of 17-year-old ailing African elephant at the Karachi Zoo is still critical and uncertain despite emergency treatment on April 5.

“The ailing elephant’s condition remains critical and uncertain,” according to the global organization that is working for animals under human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.

The suffering elephant’s fate now lies with a committee waiting for the arrival of Amir Khalil, Austria-based veterinarian who is working as Director of Project Development at the Four Paws. He said that he wanted to have one last try at helping the pachyderm recover.

He said the focus would likely shift to ailing elephant’s companion with the hope of finding her better accommodation. “We will do what we can for the ailing elephant but really we need to move the other animal,” he said.

In the first week of April, a team of local and foreign veterinarians and wildlife experts examined the suffering elephant at the Karachi Zoo. Providing pain relief treatments, the experts identified internal hematoma and a damaged pelvic floor as the main sources of her pain.

To provide immediate relief for the suffering elephant, the visiting team applied medications, vitamins, painkillers and a hydrotherapy after identifying the cause of her serious condition, according to the Four Paws that also recommended relocation of the ailing elephant and her companion to a species-appropriate place.

In a statement, CEO of Four Paws Josef Pfabigan welcomed commitment of the zoo officials and authorities to finally relocate both elephants. “We are ready to continue providing support and expertise in Pakistan in cases where sustainable solutions can be achieved, to help improve the lives of as many animals as possible.”

“We will fight till the last for the recovery of ailing elephant,” Kanwar Ayub, the director of Karachi Zoo, said. “We are diligently following instructions of the Four Paws during treatment,” he said. Besides these two elephants, the two other African elephants live at Karachi’s Safari Park. Captured in the wild, all four were brought to Pakistan in 2009.

Four Paws points out critical, uncertain health condition of ailing elephant
Four Paws points out critical, uncertain health condition of ailing elephant

It is pertinent to mention here that Karachi Administrator Dr Syed Saifur Rahman formed a nine-member committee for taking care of the ailing elephant. Besides Dr Amir Khalil, the committee comprises Dr Marina Ivanova, Dr Frank Goritz, Dr Thomas Hilderbrandt, Dr Mansoor Qazi, Dr Imran Rasheed of Lahore’s University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Dr Isma Gheewala, Dr Amir Rizvi, and Dr Kazim Hussain.

The members of the committee will submit their suggestions and recommendations regarding the well-being and welfare of the elephant to the administrator for the treatment and providing her with a natural environment so that practical measures could be taken in this regard. Dr Syed Saifur Rahman said that measures were being taken for the care and better health of the other animals of the zoo.