Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Sri Lanka mission denies offering elephants to Pakistan after Noor Jehan's death

Sri Lankan mission in Pakistan says honorary consular that made the statement is not authorised to give such undertaking

Sri Lankan High Commission in Pakistan. — Facebook/Sri Lankan High Commission
Sri Lankan High Commission in Pakistan. — Facebook/Sri Lankan High Commission

KARACHI: The Sri Lankan High Commission in Pakistan on Wednesday denied reports the island nation had offered to provide elephants to the South Asian country that just lost one of its African elephants in a zoo in the port city of Karachi on Sunday — the animal was seriously ill for a long time.

“The SL Gov or SL High Commission has never discussed or initiated any action to provide SL elephants to Pakistan,” said the mission in response to a post shared by architect Amir Nazir Chaudhary.

However, the mission clarified that there was “some truth” to the story as the honorary consular of Sri Lanka in Lahore Yasin Joyia had “mentioned the possibility of providing elephants”. But clarified that the person was not authorised to make “undertaking or discussions and has been strongly advised not to make any further statements” on the issue.

“Sri Lanka High Commission wishes to categorically deny any such discussion or initiatives taken to provide Elephants to the Zoos in Karachchi and Lahore,” said the high commission.

On Sunday, after the tragic death of African elephant Noor Jehan in the Karachi Zoo, Joyia told Geo News that Sri Lanka would gift two elephants to Pakistan.

Joyia had claimed that a request for the elephants was sent to the Sri Lankan high commissioner for the elephants. He had claimed that Sri Lanka would be sending two female elephants to Pakistan — for the Karachi and Lahore zoos.

It should be noted that there has been an immense outcry over caging animals in the zoo by animal rights activists ever since Noor Jehan's story surfaced exposing the lack of care she received amid her deteriorating health at the Karachi Zoo.

The Internet had strongly reacted to her painful end, blaming zookeepers for “criminal negligence” and cruel disregard for animal rights.

The pitiful plight of Noor Jehan was shared by animal rights activists on social media in Pakistan and abroad, prompting calls for the zoo to be shut down.