KARACHI: Encouraged by slight improvement in Noor Jehan’s condition over the past two days, experts at the Karachi zoo remained intensely engaged on Sunday in efforts to help her stand on her feet, a crucial step needed to save her life.
The 17-year-old African elephant has been lying on the ground for four days after reportedly falling into the pond in her enclosure. The experts describe the situation as very serious because lying on the ground for too long can deteriorate her condition.
Last night, the zoo team after getting guidelines from Four Paws used a crane equipped with a tailor-made harness to get back up on her feet.
“It was great to see that she was willing to walk and she tried. A few steps here and there but couldn’t balance herself,” zoo director Kanwar Ayub told Dawn, adding that the team was too happy with that progress.
Zoo director says Four Paws team will reach here by Saturday
According to him, the Four Paws team, an international animal welfare group providing assistance to the zoo on elephant care for the past few years, would arrive in the city by Saturday.
“I think Noor Jehan will hopefully stand up in a week,” he said.
Sounding optimistic, Dr Shalla Hayat, part of the Four Paws team assisting the zoo staff in Noor Jehan’s treatment, said the team was trying to get an ultrasound done.
“We will try to do it for the second time today, if we are able to move her to the right position. This is needed to see whether she got an injury in her lower abdomen,” she said, adding that Noor Jehan continued to get lots of fluids and medicines, including multivitamins, today to boost her energy level and keep her hydrated.
Asked about chances of Noor Jehan’s survival, she said: “Whatever happens will be for the good of the animal.”
She rejected the information that the animal got a fracture on her leg.
Noor Jehan was diagnosed early this month with a large haematoma in her abdomen, causing edema in the reproductive organs, blocking the passage of urine and stool.
The team had recommended medication and physical therapy for the seriously ill elephant. The zoo staff, however, reportedly demonstrated negligence, creating serious concerns over the survival and well-being of the ailing elephant among animal activists.
In August last year, the Four Paws’ team had performed major tusk surgeries on Noor Jehan and Madhubala, the other female elephant.
Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2023