Unknown facts about Noor Jehan elephant

Unknown facts about Jehan elephant

Pak Chronicle Web Desk

Another picture of young Noor Jehan. Picture credit goes to Pak Chronicle.

Unknown facts about Noor Jehan elephant: Recently a female elephant Noor Jehan which was kept at Karachi Zoo breathed her last after developing chronic health related issues.

Pak Chronicle presents some unknown facts or less known facts about her.

Noor Jehan along with three more young elephants was imported from Tanzania in 2009.

She was initially kept along with other imported young calves at the Safari Park, Karachi for a year.

She was approximately two years old when she was imported to Karachi from Tanzania. In fact she first had the taste of sugarcane at the Karachi Zoo by her trainers.

Who named her as Noor Jehan?

After shifting two female young elephants at Karachi Zoo, the local authorities announced a contest for children to suggest names for them in May 2010.

This naming contest was so important that a committee was also formed which was given the mandate to select the desired names which were proposed by children.

The committee had well-known members including Dr Qureshi, the legendary writer Fatima Surrya Bajia and a few others.

A government official Rehana Saif who was serving at that time as the Executive District Officer (EDO) Community Development, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) was also part of that committee.

The children who, by any means, came to know about this contest, wholeheartedly participated in it.

Around 350 children proposed the names for these elephants and the authorities concerned were supposed to announce the names of lucky winners in August 2010.

It was planned that a dignified ceremony would be held in which the names of lucky winners of the contest would be announced.

It was also planned that the names of children whose suggested names were selected would be awarded a cash prize of Rs25,000. Besides this, it had also been announced that the pictures of the winners would be advertised in newspapers along with the elephants.

The ceremony was supposed to be held in August 2010 and the children who had participated in the contest had been desperately waiting for its occurrence.

However, something went wrong and nothing could happen as planned. No ceremony could take place and no child was announced as the lucky winner.

As the Mohavat or the trainer of these young calves had wanted names of them for training purposes, he himself initially had given them names.

He had named a young female elephants as Noor Jahan and the other one as Madhu Bala.

As the names suggested by the children could not be owned, the names which were given by the trainer became their permanent names.

Noor Jahan was the elephant which breathed his last recently in the zoo after going through a long illness. Now a suggestion is underway to make the burial of Noor Jahan in the premises of Karachi Zoo. Pak Chronicle hopes that her burial arrangements would be more satisfactory than her staying arrangements over the place for around 13 years. She remained in captivity since her birth and she could never enjoy life in the wild which she as a being had deserved.

What happened to other elephants?

Noor Jahan and Madhu Bala were shifted to Karachi Zoo and a female and a male elephant were kept at Safari Park for breeding purposes.

There was long-term planning behind importing one male elephant and other females as the authorities concerned had wanted to breed elephants at the Safari Park so that there should be no need to import elephants in the country in future.

However, this planning also went wrong as still there is no news of any newly born calf at Safari Park Karachi.

Earlier elephants at the zoological garden used to have Asiatic elephants and it never had African elephants. Noor Jahan along with Madhu Bala were the first African elephants which were kept in captivity at the zoo.

Compared with the Asiatic elephants the African elephants generally have larger height and length.

 Before the import of these four calves, there used to be only one elephant in Islamabad Zoo and Lahore’s zoo had two elephants. The elephant which was kept at the Islamabad Zoo also witnessed a terrible time in captivity and it was regarded as the loneliest elephant in the world till he was shifted abroad due to efforts of some NGOs.

It is interesting to mention here that till 1990 Karachi Zoo had two elephants. One of them died in 1991 and the other died in 2006.

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