Fifty-fifty chance of survival for elephant Noor Jehan in Pakistan (INTERVIEW)

Fifty-fifty chance of survival for elephant Noor Jehan in Pakistan
Elephant Noor Jehan at Karachi Zoo, Pakistan, credit: Four Paws/Omar Mahera

“Currently, we can say from what we observed today, the chance is 50/50 for Noor Jehan,” veterinarian Amir Khalil from the animal welfare organization Four Paws told The Animal Reader about the female elephant Noor Jehan.

A Four Paws team arrived at Karachi Zoo in Pakistan on Monday to treat the 17-year-old elephant Noor Jehan, who is in very bad condition. She has “big swelling in the genital area, big problem with her joints,” Khalil said, adding that she has been suffering for over two months.

Noor is unable to walk, has lost a significant amount of weight, and is experiencing a lot of pain, Khalil explained. His team is preparing to assess the underlying cause of Noor’s condition and determine the most effective treatment for her.

Khalil emphasized the power of social media in the case of Noor Jehan. Pictures of the elephant, barely able to stand, were shared widely in the past week, prompting the government to take action.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), which runs Karachi Zoo, requested urgent assistance from Four Paws after reports and images showed Noor Jehan in serious physical distress.

According to Four Paws, only four African elephants live in captivity in Pakistan: Jehan and Madhubala at Karachi Zoo and Malika and Sonu at Karachi Safari Park.

All four elephants were caught at a very young age in the wild in Tanzania. They arrived in Pakistan in 2009. Last year, Khalil and his team treated Noor and Madhubala at Karachi Zoo. Four Paws then recommended moving the elephant to a more suitable area, which didn’t happen.

The zoo and the Pakistani government have now agreed to move the elephants to Karachi Safari Park if Noor survives her treatment. Khalil said the other animals at the zoo also live in dire conditions. The Prime Minister recently announced plans to close Karachi Zoo.


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