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Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sahaylee - A Female Elephant in Critical Condition

The male elephant (Kawan from Indonesia) stands close to comfort the sick elephant at the Marghazar Zoo here on Sunday. - Dawn

Marghazar or the Islamabad Zoo MUST close down. Every now and then, animals die or suffer due to neglect, greed and politics of zoo authorities here in Islamabad and also elsewhere in Pakistan. These days, Sa-hay-lee ( also written as Sahaily - meaning a female friend)- a gift from Sri Lanka to Pakistan is in a critical condition. Her former name was Menika and she was given to Pakistan's Murghzar Zoo in Islamabad in 1991. She was born in 1989 and was raised in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and from there she was moved to Sri Lanka's National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwala Zoo) up until 1991 before moving to Islamabad.

It has been more than 24 hours that the elephant could not stand and fall down since her right rear foot got injured with some sharp object (authorities have still been unable to determine that). "It is said that elephants never lay on ground during day time but the female elephant has been down for the whole day, which shows its condition was critical”said a vet. An elephant costs Rs15 million and management of the zoo has been playing with the life of animals for the sake of a few hundred rupees which are collected every month.

According to Dawn News, an officer of Capital Development Authority (CDA) requesting not to be named said: “Money which is collected from the citizens for offering them a ride and having pictures with the elephant is the reason behind all what happened.

“Whenever a new director takes charge of zoo, he tries to depute his favorite persons at the cage of the elephant. Mahaut (caretaker) of the female elephant, Bilal, was suspended about six month ago and two zoo attendants Riaz and Adil were deputed at her cage.

“Later, Bilal was reappointed on his previous position but he was not allowed to go in the elephant’s cage. And when the female elephant got injured, both attendants ignored it as they had no prior experience of taking care of elephants.”

No foreign country should give any animal as a gift to Pakistan in future if they want the well being and safety of the animal. I think that to foster closer ties amongst countries - animals must not be used but instead our brain. In Pakistani zoos - very cruel conditions prevail and I believe that zoos in this country must be closed down if they are only meant to inflict injury and sufferings! 

Update on the Female elephant in Islamabad:
She died just a few hours after I posted about Sahaily. She got rid of the sufferings at the hands of Pakistani zoo administration which she had to bear for almost her entire life. When she came to Pakistan at the age of two. Zoo staff and especially the officers concerned MUST BE fired. I fear for the life of the male elephant from Indonesia - may God have mercy on him. Rest in peace Sahaily (Sahaylee) ~ you will be missed!