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Tusks of two elephants allegedly cut off at Karachi Zoo

Zoo administration claims the elephants lost their tusks because of eating sugarcane and tree branches

November 30, 2021
In this photograph taken on February 28, 2018, elephants are pictured in their cage at the Karachi Zoo. — AFP
In this photograph taken on February 28, 2018, elephants are pictured in their cage at the Karachi Zoo. — AFP

KARACHI: In yet another tragic development at the Karachi Zoo, the tusks of two female elephants have allegedly been cut off, it emerged on Tuesday.

When contacted, the zoo administration claimed that the elephants lost their tusks because of eating sugarcane and branches of trees.

Responding to a question, the zoo director said that the incident occurred when he was not appointed to the post; hence he will not be able to shed light on what happened.

When asked whether the tusks had been placed in a museum, he evaded the question citing the same reason.

Dr Marina Ivanova, a veterinary doctor associated with global animal welfare organisation Four Paws  who arrived in Karachi on Sunday with a group of doctors, said that one of the elephants, Madhubala, is suffering from severe pain due to an infection in her teeth, and suggested immediate surgery.

The doctor said that the elephants were never administered vaccines in the past 10 years.

The zoo administration has no diet plan, hence, the elephants, both Madhubala, and the other, Noor Jehan, are nearing obesity and are anemic as well, Dr Ivanova said.

The team of doctors also visited Safari Park and found the two female elephants there to be in possession of their tusks. The two elephants were said by them to eat sugarcane and gnaw on tree bark as well.

The four elephants were brought to Karachi almost 10 years ago.

Rare white lion dies at Karachi Zoo

On November 24, a rare white lion died at Karachi Zoo after his lungs reportedly stopped working due to pulmonary tuberculosis, according to Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC).

Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab sought a report regarding the death of the lion which was of a breed that is going extinct in the world.

KMC Spokesman Ali Hassan Sajid said the lion had been ill for the last 13 days and was suffering from pulmonary TB. The animal was being treated by veterinarians but he could not recover and died.

The lion was between 14 and 15 years old and was brought to the Karachi Zoo from Africa in 2012. A team of veterinarians performed an autopsy on the lion and collected details about the illness and death.