Veterinarians examine elephant Noor Jehan at the Karachi Zoo in Karachi on April 18, 2023. — AFP

Veterinarians examine elephant Noor Jehan at the Karachi Zoo in Karachi on April 18, 2023. — AFP

KARACHI: The postmortem report of elephant Noor Jehan, who passed away last month in Karachi Zoo, Thursday revealed that she died from blood parasite disease.

Karachi Administrator Dr Syed Saif Ur Rahman confirmed the development during a press conference in the city and said that the postmortem report of the 17-year-old elephant has been received from the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.

He said the postmortem was carried out under the scientific and technical supervision of experts and samples of all vital organs were taken to determine the exact cause of death.

Following Noor Jehan, full scanning of Madhu Bala and other animals of the zoo has also been done to detect the presence of any germs in them, he said.

There was continuous contact with the doctors and experts of the international organisation Fourpaws in connection with the treatment and postmortem of the elephant, while NGOs also provided support and guidance, he added.

The administrator said that in 2009, four elephants were brought to the Safari Park from Tanzania, and a year later, two elephants Noor Jehan and Madhu Bala were transferred to the Karachi Zoo.

The treatment

In November 2022, Noor Jehan developed swelling in her left leg, for which treatment was given. However, in January 2023, the same problem occurred again and she was suffering due to swelling on her back, he said.

He said that Fourpaws specialists were contacted for treatment of the elephant, who did an X-ray and ultrasound and diagnosed hematoma. The consultation was also ensured with the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, KMC, and zoo staff continued to focus on the treatment of the elephant, and for the first time in history, an intensive care unit was built in the elephant enclosure.

All facilities and medicines were provided for the treatment of the elephant in the ICU, but despite all these efforts, the elephant died on April 22.


On the request of Karachi Zoo and Fourpaws International, Dr Ghulam Mustafa of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, led the postmortem of the elephant in Karachi Zoo, where Dr Amir Khalil of Fourpaws assisted him.

He said the postmortem report revealed that the elephant had died due to a parasitic infection in the blood, which could have been caused by an insect bite and would infect other animals too.

Therefore all necessary arrangements were made to save other captives, Rahman said.

He said the Sindh government has formed a task force for the welfare of animals kept in zoos and safaris and a new procedure is being devised for this.

He said that tigers, elephants, and other big animals are kept at safaris all over the world, so a special place is being made in the Safari Park on 19 acres of area to keep elephants so that they can get a natural environment.

“KMC will also make efforts for breeding animals in zoos and Safari Park.”

The Karachi administrator said that Karachi Zoo is one of the biggest and oldest entertainment places in the country. “It will be improved so that people can come here with their families and spend the best time.”

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