Elephant Noor Jehan unable to stand on her own in Pakistan

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

UPDATE: Noor Jean passed away on Sunday morning (April, 22)

The health of elephant Noor Jehan has taken a turn for the worse at Karachi Zoo in Pakistan, despite attempts from a local team and online assistance from animal welfare organization Four Paws. The 17-year-old elephant is unable to stand on her own her condition remains critical. 

“We are saddened to inform you that despite the best efforts of the local team and ongoing (online) supervision and support from Four Paws, the health condition of Noor Jehan is not improving”, Four Paws said in a statement, adding that a committee of veterinarians had been formed to advise on the best course of action for Noor Jehan’s future. 

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), which runs Karachi Zoo, requested urgent assistance from Four Paws two weeks ago after reports and images revealed Noor Jehan was in severe physical distress. Her hind legs were paralyzed. 

Four Paws discovered the elephant had an internal injury and damaged pelvic floor brought on by a trauma “which has caused her current painful health condition, and also explains her unusual body position,” veterinarian Amir Khalil, who examined her with his team, said.

A treatment plan was developed, and “her future and survival now depend on the zoo following them,” Khalil said when the Four Paws team left the zoo. A few days after they left, the elephant fell into a pool, and since then, she hasn’t been able to get up on her own. 

Noor Jehan was caught in the wild in Tanzania at a very young age and arrived in Pakistan in 2009. Last year, Amir Khalil and his team treated Noor Jehan and Madhubala, the other elephant at Karachi Zoo, and recommended the relocation of the elephants to a more suitable area; however, this did not happen.

Khalil noted that the other animals at the zoo also live in dire conditions. The Prime Minister recently announced plans to close Karachi Zoo, and over the weekend, the government confirmed that the zoo will be permanently shut down. 


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