Pakistani officials say a sick elephant has died after receiving medical treatment by an international team of experts earlier this month.
KARACHI, Pakistan — A sick elephant that underwent critical medical treatment by an international team of veterinarians earlier this month has died at a Pakistan zoo, officials said Saturday.
Noor Jehan, 17, was brought to Karachi with three other elephants a dozen years ago. He died after an accident days after a procedure by an Austria-based team of experts to assess his health, said Kanwar Ayub, a top official at the Karachi Zoo.
Syed Saifur Rahman, a top local government official in Karachi, said city and zoo officials did their best to comfort the elephant, who had been ill for a long time after this month’s procedure.
“Unfortunately we could not save all efforts including bringing in a team of foreign experts for Noor Jehan’s treatment,” he said.
Videos of Noor Jehan fighting with her head resting on a tree have sparked fear in Pakistan and around the world.
An eight-member team from Four Paws, an Austrian animal welfare organization, was brought in to undertake a complex process to assess the elephant’s multiple medical problems. The process was carried out with the help of a crane and a fire engine.
The team included veterinarians from Egypt and Bulgaria and an elephant husbandry expert from Germany. It was chaired by Dr. Amir Khalil of Egypt.
Specialists performed an ultrasound and found a massive hemorrhage in Noor’s abdomen, which was affecting his organs. Due to the injury, Noor Jehan’s hip bone was fractured and pus was growing in the area.
After the procedure, Khalil was hopeful that she would recover. “We lost her when we anesthetized her, but luckily we had all the necessary preparations and Noor Jehan stood up again,” he said.
Khalil said her death occurred after an accident in her enclosure on April 13 that left her unable to get out of the pool in her enclosure for hours. A local team managed to pull her out under the remote supervision of four Paws vets who had already left Pakistan. But despite repeated help, the animal could not stand up on its own.
Khalil said that because Noor Jehan was already in a weakened state, the elephant did not have the strength to stand up again. After struggling for nine days, she died, he said.
“As the surviving elephant of Karachi Zoo, Madhubala, mourns the loss of her longtime companion, it is now more urgent than ever to relocate her to a species-friendly location as soon as possible to prevent another tragedy,” Khalil said. .