Vets seek medical attention for 2 Pakistani elephants

By MUHAMMAD FAROOQ

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – The leader of a veterinary team on Tuesday called for emergency medical treatment for a pair of elephants in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Dr Frank Goeritz, whose team was dispatched by the global animal welfare group Four Paws to examine four elephants, reported that one of the animals needed ‘complicated’ surgery to remove a damaged tusk and infected. A second elephant has dental problems and a medical problem with one foot, according to vets sent by Four Paws.

Such diseases “are very painful and can lead to life-threatening situations in elephants,” according to a report prepared by Goeritz.

Four Paws said a Pakistani court in Karachi asked animal welfare experts to assess the welfare of the four elephants at Karachi Zoo and Karachi Safari Park.

Overall, the health of the animals is good, said Goeritz, whose team will be making final recommendations on the condition of the elephants to the court. It was not immediately clear when the two animals would be treated or by whom.

In a statement, Four Paws said on Tuesday that the team’s priority was immediate medical care for the four elephants.

“One of the elephants, Noor Jehan, needs major surgery for a painful infection in his broken tusk. In addition, the four elephants must be reunited at the Karachi Safari Park, proper feeding and enrichment must be provided, and staff must receive appropriate training, “the statement said.

Experts also discovered that the elephant named Sonu, who has been said to have been a male for more than 10 years, is actually a female, the statement said.

The vets’ visit comes a year after the rescue of an elephant named Kaavan, who was transferred from Islamabad to Cambodia and now lives in an elephant sanctuary. Kaavan had languished in the Islamabad Zoo for 35 years, mostly in chains, and he lost his partner in 2012.