Time to take painful decision for Noor Jehan elephant

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    Should the authorities start thinking about putting down Noor Jehan, a 17-year-old elephant at Karachi Zoo? Yes, yes, and yes.

    When an animal has the least chance of recovery, the decision to kill them is the best, though painful, because it rescues them from incurable pain.

    The decision to put down an animal or not should be made by veterinary professionals, animal welfare experts, and relevant authorities after considering all factors such as the animal’s medical condition, quality of life, available treatment options, and ethical considerations. It is essential to ensure that any decision made is in the best interest of the animal’s welfare.

    When we look at the health of Noor Jehan, we see that despite all efforts and medical treatment, her health has continued to deteriorate, and the animal has seen no improvement.

    In response, the zoo administration has banned non-technical staff, including the media, from entering the facility, citing crowding and stress for the ailing mammal.

    Four Paws, the international animal welfare organisation treating Noor Jehan, has reported that her condition is still not improving. A hematoma in her abdomen and intestinal issues are among the several medical conditions Noor Jehan has developed due to months of inadequate care and treatment at Karachi Zoo. She underwent successful surgery earlier this month but fell into a concrete pond afterwards, further worsening her condition. A nine-member committee has been formed to care for Noor Jehan and make recommendations for her treatment. Four Paws has also urged the authorities to transfer Madhubala, another captive elephant at Karachi Zoo, to prevent further tragedies due to inadequate care.