Karachi, 24 August 2023 – Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has returned to Karachi, Pakistan to prepare for the relocation of Madhubala, the lone African Elephant at Karachi Zoo. After a crucial meeting with Murtaza Wahab, the newly elected Mayor of Karachi yesterday, lead FOUR PAWS veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil was given the approval to start preparing to relocate Madhubala from Karachi Zoo to Safari Park where she will be reunited with Malika and Sonia from whom she was separated from 14 years ago.
Following the death of her partner Noor Jehan earlier this year, Madhubala has been in solitary confinement but now, things are looking up.
Mission leader Dr Amir Khalil says: “Yesterday’s meeting with Mayor Wahab was vital in ensuring we can deliver a more species-appropriate life for Madhubala. Mayor Wahab has promised he will do all he can to ensure a better future for the three elephants and will support FOUR PAWS in finding sustainable solutions.”
These solutions include considerable improvements to the elephant enclosure at Safari Park. In collaboration with the Taskforce for Wildlife in Captivity/Zoo/Safari Parks in Karachi, an advisory body appointed by the Government of Sindh, measures will be undertaken to rework the elephant enclosure to make it a more species-appropriate habitat. These measures include the expansion of its grounds, inclusion of waterbodies, enrichment features and safety measures, as well as training of on-ground and management staff to create a space in which Madhubala, Malika and Sonia can grow and prosper.
“Our focus now is to prepare everything for the urgently needed relocation and end the risk of Madhubala being kept in solitary confinement for any longer than is necessary. We will also be supporting the Task Force in future-proofing Karachi Safari Park to better suit the needs of the elephants.”
Dr Amir Khalil, FOUR PAWS Mission Lead
Madhubala’s relocation to Safari Park and reunion with her family sends a powerful signal that Pakistan is taking a step towards improving animal welfare in the country.
FOUR PAWS returns to Pakistan after previous arrangements concerning Madhubala's future were obsolete due to a change in government. The new government in place will ultimately decide on the future of the elephants in Karachi. Therefore, the meetings with the new authorities and other stakeholders are crucial for the relocation of Madhubala. The proposed relocation of elephant Madhubala will bring the era of elephants in Pakistan Zoos to an end. The move will also mark the beginning of a species-appropriate life for Madhubala, something that sadly came too late to help her sister Noor Jehan who passed away in April.