The postmortem report of Noor Jehan, the beloved elephant who passed away last month at Karachi Zoo, has revealed that she died from a blood parasite disease. Karachi Administrator Dr. Syed Saif Ur Rahman shared this development during a press conference in the city, informing the public that the postmortem report of the 17-year-old elephant was received from the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.
Dr. Rahman stated that the postmortem was conducted under the supervision of scientific and technical experts. Samples of all vital organs were taken to determine the exact cause of Noor Jehan’s death. In light of her passing, full scanning of Madhu Bala, another elephant, and other animals at the zoo has also been performed to detect the presence of any germs.
Throughout the treatment and postmortem process, there has been continuous communication and collaboration with the international organization Fourpaws, as well as support and guidance from NGOs. The administrator mentioned that in 2009, four elephants were brought to the Safari Park from Tanzania, and a year later, two elephants, Noor Jehan, and Madhu Bala, were transferred to the Karachi Zoo.
Regarding Noor Jehan’s treatment, Dr. Rahman explained that she developed swelling in her left leg in November 2022, for which treatment was administered. However, in January 2023, the same problem resurfaced, and she experienced swelling in her back. Four paws specialists were consulted, and an intensive care unit (ICU) was established in the elephant enclosure for the first time in history. Despite all efforts and providing necessary facilities and medicines, Noor Jehan sadly passed away on April 22.
The postmortem was conducted by Dr. Ghulam Mustafa from the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore, with assistance from Dr. Amir Khalil of Fourpaws International. The report revealed that the elephant’s cause of death was a parasitic infection in the blood, potentially resulting from an insect bite, which could also infect other animals. As a result, all necessary measures have been taken to safeguard the remaining captives at the zoo.
Dr. Rahman shared that the Sindh government has established a task force for the welfare of animals in zoos and safaris, and a new procedure is being devised. Additionally, plans are underway to create a special area spanning 19 acres within the Safari Park to provide elephants with a natural environment. The Karachi administrator expressed the commitment of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to focus on breeding animals in zoos and Safari Park.
Karachi Zoo, being one of the largest and oldest entertainment destinations in the country, is set to undergo improvements to enhance visitors’ experiences and ensure a pleasant time for families.
The loss of Noor Jehan, a beloved member of the Karachi Zoo community, has brought attention to the importance of animal welfare and conservation efforts. The hope is that lessons learned from her passing will contribute to the betterment of zoo management practices and the well-being of all animals under human care.