KARACHI: “I am too happy to see that our mission in Pakistan has not only brought relief to the elephants, but also brought people closer. I think there is hope for the world,” Dr Aamir Khalil representing the Four Paws’ team said at a ceremony held on Friday at the PMA House.

The event was organised by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) in honour of the team which has recently conducted two major tusk surgeries at the zoo, provided treatment to Safari Park elephants suffering from cracked and overgrown nails, footpads and abscesses, and gave aftercare instructions to the local staff.

Speaking at the event, Dr Khalil, who leads the eight-member team, said there was a lot of potential for future collaboration and the global animal welfare group was ready to continue assistance to improve elephants’ quality of life.

“We found the local staff very cooperative. They are highly motivated and keen to learn, and this is what matters,” he said in reply to a question.

Asked about the tissue/tusk samples the team has collected during the surgeries, he said the local zoo vets would be examining the tumour sample taken from Noor Jehan during the surgery whereas the team would examine the tusk pieces collected during Madhubala’s operation.

Dr Frank Goritz and Dr Thomas Hilderbrandt shared details of the complicated surgical interventions performed on the zoo elephants under a unique procedure.

In their speeches, Dr Tipu Sultan, Dr Sonia Naqvi and Dr Qaiser Sajjad expressed their gratitude on behalf of society in general and Karachiites in particular for treating the elephants.

“We are all extremely impressed by the team’s efforts. I think the government should look into the problems affecting well-being of zoo animals and take immediate steps for their welfare,” Dr Sajjad noted.

Four Paws’ team members Dr Marina Ivanova, elephant trainer Mathias Otto and Agnieszka were also in attendance. The guests were presented with shields, a traditional Sindhi cap and Ajrak at the end of the event.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2022

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