Vet calls for urgent medical care for elephants in Pakistan

International

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — The head of a team of vets on Tuesday called for urgent medical care for a pair of elephants in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.

Dr. Frank Goeritz, whose team was dispatched by a global animal welfare group to examine four elephants in total, reported that one the elephants needs a “complicated” surgery to remove damaged and infected tusks. A second elephant has dental problems and a medical issue with a foot, according to the vets dispatched by Four Paws.

Such “diseases are very painful and can lead to life-threatening situations in elephants,” the vets said, according to a report prepared by Goeritz, who was sent to Pakistan with the help of Four Paws. The group said a Pakistani court in Karachi had asked for the animal welfare experts to assess the wellbeing of the four elephants in Karachi Zoo and Karachi Safari Park.

Overall, Goeritz said, the health of the two elephants, plus two more he examined, is good.

Goeritz also submitted his medical report about the condition of elephants to a local court, which sought help from the animal welfare organization to determine if any of the elephants suffered from disease.

The visit by the vets comes a year after the rescue of an elephant named Kaavan, who was transferred from Islamabad to Cambodia and now lives in an elephant sanctuary. Kaavan had languished in the Islamabad zoo for 35 years, most of that time in chains, and it lost his partner in 2012.

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