Global vets in Pakistan for surgery on Karachi zoo elephants

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KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Veterinarians from a global animal welfare organization are in Pakistan and on Wednesday began a series of surgeries on a pair of elephants at a zoo in the port city of Karachi.

During a previous visit last year, vets from Four Paws examined four elephants in Karachi and determined that one of the animals needs a “complicated” surgery to remove a damaged and infected tusk. A second elephant has dental problems and a medical issue with a foot, the vets said at the time.

On Tuesday, an eight-member team from Four Paws arrived in Pakistan to treat the animals. The surgeries and medical treatment are expected to wrap up on Friday.

Amir Khalil, who heads the team of vets, veterinary surgeons and wildlife experts, said the other two elephants in Karachi — kept in a public park in the city — will also get medical treatment. He did not elaborate.

Four Paws also plans to offer instructions to Karachi zoo caretakers on ensuring better care of the elephants.

In 2020, an elephant named Kaavan 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 he lost his partner in 2012.