Deteriorating health of elephant Noor Jehan in Pakistan sparks concerns

Deteriorating health of elephant Noor Jehan in Pakistan sparks concerns
African elephant Noor Jehan, 17, rests on a sand pile at Karachi zoo , Pakistan, April 14, 2023, credit: Reuters/Akhtar Soomro

A recent incident has raised extreme concerns for the well-being of the 17-year-old elephant Noor Jehan at Karachi Zoo in Pakistan. The elephant fell into a pool at the zoo on Thursday and was unable to get up. Noor Jehan was lifted by a crane and placed on a sand pile to rest.

A week ago, veterinarians from the animal welfare organization Four Paws departed from the zoo; they had been asked to examine and assist the ailing elephant. Noor Jehan’s health now depends on the Pakistani government and zoo officials, Four Paws said when their team left the country.

The team discovered that the main cause of Noor Jehan’s paralyzed hind legs was an internal injury and a damaged pelvic floor. They performed an ultrasound and additional tests to diagnose her condition and formulated a treatment plan for zoo employees, which included medications, vitamins, painkillers, and hydrotherapy.

Videos circulating on social media on Saturday show the struggling elephant lying down and, in some cases, walking with the assistance of a crane. The Four Paws team, in contact with zoo officials via video calls, has noted that the animal still shows some fight in her eyes. However, as veterinarians are only able to monitor the situation remotely, concerns for Noor Jehan’s well-being continue to grow.

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


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