Hope for lonely elephant Madhubala to be relocated to a safari park in Pakistan

Hope for lonely elephant Madhubala to be relocated in Pakistan
Elephant Madhubala, credit: Four Paws

The 19-year-old African elephant Madhubala has been living alone at Karachi Zoo in Pakistan for almost a year. Animal welfare organization Four Paws said on Tuesday that she might be relocated soon.

In April 2023, elephant Noor Jehan died at Karachi Zoo. She was only 17 years old. The poor living conditions at the zoo were the reason she died. After her death, Four Paws requested the immediate relocation of Madhubala to Karachi Safari Park.

After political setbacks delayed the process, Four Paws and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

This agreement paves the way for crucial improvements at Karachi Safari Park, setting the stage for Madhubala’s move and the reunion with her sisters, Malika and Sonia. Four Paws experts are in Karachi to supervise the improvement work at the park.

Madhubala’s solitary confinement has taken a severe toll on her mental health, with boredom being a major stress factor. However, efforts to train her to enter a transport crate have sparked her playfulness and engaged her both physically and cognitively.

“Madhubala has made great progress so far, and with the remaining training, we are making sure that she is fully prepared for the two-hour transfer from Karachi Zoo to Karachi Safari Park,” veterinarian Amir Khalil said.

“Even though the long time in solitude has left some emotional scars, Madhubala is adjusting well and curious about the preparation efforts. It is high time she experienced more joy again, and a life worthy of an elephant,” he added.

Karachi Safari Park will have water pools for bathing, skin care, and temperature regulation. Various enrichments, such as hay nets, diverse terrains, and new objects, will encourage natural behaviors such as foraging and dust bathing.

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