The Marghazar Zoo Tuesday lost one of its few main attractions, the female elephant fondly called ‘Saheli,’ allegedly due to negligence of its attendants and staff.
The female elephant died at a young age of 22, while the lifespan of an elephant is the same as that of human beings.
Sources said that the female elephant might have been poisoned because of politics in the zoo. However, Director Wildlife and Zoo Sajjad Shah said that it was premature to say anything final about the cause of its death. “We have sent samples taken from the body of the elephant to the National Veterinary Laboratory to ascertain causes of its death,” he said.
The dead elephant was a source of income for the zoo staff, therefore, everybody wanted to be deputed at the enclosure of elephants.
A large number of visitors, who came to the Marghazar Zoo on Tuesday, were saddened to see the dead body of their favourite animal.
The male elephant is 27-year-old and it is in good health.
CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal has ordered an inquiry into the incident and ordered suspension of ‘chief mahavat’ and ‘mahavat’ of the zoo. An official of the zoo said that the female elephant was injured apparently after being hit by a sharp edge about two weeks back and it suddenly fell on Sunday morning.
The zoo director, however, said the female elephant had recovered from the injury, but suddenly collapsed on Sunday.
He said that the health of ‘Saheli’ improved on Monday and she drank about 40 litres of water and ate some pieces of watermelon and it was hoped that she would completely recover soon.
Another official, however, said that the female elephant fell a victim to negligence of the zoo staff and it had not recovered from its injuries, which proved fatal.
Sajjad Shah said that they would soon procure more animals, including a lion, for the zoo. He alleged that the zoo was suffering due to workers union politics, which should be banned. About removal of the elephant’s dead body, the official said that he would propose that the animal should be stuffed.
A dignitary of Bangladesh had donated the female elephant about 20 years back.