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Karachi elephants: Foreign vet scheduled to arrive Sunday

They will conduct a health inspection of the animals

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 27, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 27, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Photo: File

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German veterinarian Dr Frank Georitz and his team of experts from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research are scheduled to arrive in Karachi for the health inspection of the four elephants at Karachi zoo and Safari park. Mahera Omar of PAWS told SAMAA Digital that the experts, after conducting the animals' checkup, will submit a report in the Sindh High Court on Tuesday, November 30. The vet was due to arrive in Pakistan earlier but the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had blocked the health assessment and raised concerns over the way the funding was gathered for his visit. At the hearing on November 15, KMC requested the court to appoint a vet from the University of Tando Jam or Lahore zoo for the inspection of the elephants instead of Dr Frank. The court, rejecting the appeal, directed KMC to ensure the "timely examination" of the elephants. It instructed that an official from the Lahore zoo be appointed to instruct the foreign team in the inspection and a report of the elephants' health assessment be submitted in court by November 30. Earlier this year, videos of the elephants showed that they had broken nails, cracked tusks, swollen legs, and damaged feet. After the clips went viral, an international animal rights group, the Pro Elephant Network, called for emergency medical assistance. But KMC was adamant that it had treated the elephants after applying petroleum jelly to their feet. Free The Wild, a UK-based animal rights organisation, offered to send international experts for their health inspection but KMC withdrew its permission at the last minute. This is the same organisation that freed Kavaan from Islamabad's Marghazar Zoo. In March, the KMC was accused, in a petition, of neglecting the four elephants at Karachi Zoo and the Safari Park, keeping them chained in small enclosures (compared to international standards), and denying them medical care. The elephants, identified as Malika, Sonu, Noor Jehan, and Madhubala, were stolen from the wild in Tanzania and brought to Pakistan 11 years ago. KMC officials, however, claimed that the elephants are “perfectly healthy” and in “excellent shape”. Last week, KMC and the Karachi zoo were in news again after videos of a starving rare white lion started doing rounds on social media. The animal died two days later. The corporation claimed that the lion was suffering from pneumonia but animal rights activists are of another opinion. Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab has taken notice of the death and instructed an inquiry into it.
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German veterinarian Dr Frank Georitz and his team of experts from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research are scheduled to arrive in Karachi for the health inspection of the four elephants at Karachi zoo and Safari park.

Mahera Omar of PAWS told SAMAA Digital that the experts, after conducting the animals’ checkup, will submit a report in the Sindh High Court on Tuesday, November 30.

The vet was due to arrive in Pakistan earlier but the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had blocked the health assessment and raised concerns over the way the funding was gathered for his visit.

At the hearing on November 15, KMC requested the court to appoint a vet from the University of Tando Jam or Lahore zoo for the inspection of the elephants instead of Dr Frank.

The court, rejecting the appeal, directed KMC to ensure the “timely examination” of the elephants. It instructed that an official from the Lahore zoo be appointed to instruct the foreign team in the inspection and a report of the elephants’ health assessment be submitted in court by November 30.

Earlier this year, videos of the elephants showed that they had broken nails, cracked tusks, swollen legs, and damaged feet. After the clips went viral, an international animal rights group, the Pro Elephant Network, called for emergency medical assistance. But KMC was adamant that it had treated the elephants after applying petroleum jelly to their feet.

Free The Wild, a UK-based animal rights organisation, offered to send international experts for their health inspection but KMC withdrew its permission at the last minute. This is the same organisation that freed Kavaan from Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo.

In March, the KMC was accused, in a petition, of neglecting the four elephants at Karachi Zoo and the Safari Park, keeping them chained in small enclosures (compared to international standards), and denying them medical care. The elephants, identified as Malika, Sonu, Noor Jehan, and Madhubala, were stolen from the wild in Tanzania and brought to Pakistan 11 years ago.

KMC officials, however, claimed that the elephants are “perfectly healthy” and in “excellent shape”.

Last week, KMC and the Karachi zoo were in news again after videos of a starving rare white lion started doing rounds on social media. The animal died two days later. The corporation claimed that the lion was suffering from pneumonia but animal rights activists are of another opinion.

Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab has taken notice of the death and instructed an inquiry into it.

 
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2 Comments

  1. W Burr  November 29, 2021 7:32 am/ Reply

    I think the Karachi Zoo is NOT a zoo, but rather a death chamber that is contributing to the long suffering term suffering and extinction of endangered animals. These poor elephants require immediate veterinary attention and I will be watching this story closely.

  2. W Burr  November 29, 2021 7:55 am/ Reply

    This is not a Zoo, but rather a death chamber for animals and is contributing to the demise of several endangered species. The elephants require immediate veterinary attention!

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