FOUR PAWS in Pakistan: “With proper care, rehabilitation is possible for Noor Jehan”

Karachi, 6 April 2023 – A team of veterinarians and wildlife experts from global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS is on-site in Karachi, Pakistan this week, to aid 17-year-old suffering elephant Noor Jehan at Karachi Zoo. Noor Jehan’s suffering began with limping and deteriorated quickly to a worrying condition that left her partly paralysed. During the examination the experts identified internal hematoma and a damaged pelvic floor as the main sources of her pain and physical distress. They provided immediate pain relief treatments and further recommendations for Noor Jehan’s rehabilitation.

FOUR PAWS has recommended the relocation of Noor Jehan and her companion Madhubala to a species-appropriate place that fulfils international standards since 2021. Now the authorities have finally committed to relocate both elephants as soon as Noor Jehan is healthy enough to be moved.

The FOUR PAWS experts were called for help by the zoo officials as the treatment and special equipment Noor Jehan needs is not available in Pakistan. The medical procedures to determine Noor Jehan’s condition and further treatment included an ultrasound examination and additional laboratory tests. To provide immediate relief for the suffering elephant, the team applied medications, vitamins, painkillers and a hydrotherapy after identifying the cause of her serious condition.

“During the ultrasound examination we detected an inner hematoma and a damaged pelvic floor. This shows that a trauma must have happened, which has caused her current painful health condition, and also explains her unusual body position. Noor Jehan needs a lot of movement to activate and train the muscles in her legs again, which will also improve the mobility of her digestive tract. She will also receive a special diet to help with this. It is now more important than ever that Noor Jehan regains strength, so she and her companion Madhubala can soon be relocated to a more species-appropriate home, where she can recover further. We gave recommendations and guidelines for Noor Jehan’s recovery, her future and survival now depend on the zoo following them.”

FOUR PAWS veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil

The elephants from Karachi Zoo have a chance at a better life

“We welcome the commitment of the local zoo officials and authorities to finally relocate both elephants, after FOUR PAWS has recommended this action in favour of the elephants’ wellbeing already last year. We would have wished for this measure to be implemented sooner to spare Noor Jehan her recent suffering but are glad that she still has a chance at a better life. We would especially like to thank the Governor of Sindh for attending the medical assessment of Noor Jehan and for his overall support. This once again shows the long-term, sustainable changes we can achieve when authorities and animal welfare experts work closely together. FOUR PAWS is ready to continue providing its support and expertise in Pakistan in cases where sustainable solutions can be achieved, to help improve the lives of as many animals as possible,” says Josef Pfabigan, global CEO of FOUR PAWS.

While Noor Jehan and Mabhubala live at Karachi Zoo, the two other captive African elephants in Pakistan, Sonu and Malika, live at Karachi Safari Park. All four were captured in the wild and brought to Pakistan together in 2009. Species-appropriate living conditions for elephants include big open spaces with natural surroundings and a soft ground where the animals can move around. Elephants enjoy taking mud baths, for this they need sand and water to engage with.

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