KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – The head of a veterinarian team on Tuesday called for urgent medical care for a pair of elephants in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Dr. Frank Goeritz, who was sent by global animal welfare group Four Paws to examine the four elephants, reported that one of the animals needed a “complicated” surgery to remove the damaged and infected tusk. A second elephant had dental problems and medical problems in its foot, according to veterinarians dispatched by Four Paws.
Such illnesses are “very painful and can lead to life-threatening situations in elephants,” according to a report conducted by Goeritz.
Four Paws said a Pakistani court in Karachi had asked animal welfare experts to assess the health of four elephants in the Karachi Zoo and Karachi Safari Park.
Overall, the animals’ health is good, says Goeritz, whose team will submit final recommendations on the elephants’ status to the court. It was unknown when the two animals would be treated or by whom.
In a statement, Four Paws on Tuesday said the team’s priority was immediate medical care for all four elephants.
“One of the elephants, Noor Jehan, needs major surgery for a painful infection of her broken tusk urgently. Furthermore, all four elephants should be reunited at Karachi Safari Park, proper diet and enrichment must be provided, and the staff needs to receive proper training,” the statement said.
Experts also discovered that the elephant named Sonu, believed to be male for more than ten years, was actually female, the statement said.
The veterinarians’ visit comes a year after rescuing an elephant named Kaavan, who was transported from Islamabad to Cambodia and now lives in an elephant sanctuary. Kaavan languished in the Islamabad Zoo for 35 years, most of that time in chains, and he lost his partner in 2012.