By Irfan Aligi
Karachi—Tusks of baby elephants in captivity at the Karachi Zoological garden (KZG) had been cut and sold out to illegal traders of ivory.
Sources inside the Sports, Culture and Recreation Department of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation told Pakistan Observer that the management of KZG had after tranqualising the two baby (female) elephants of 7 and 9 years cut off the 12 and 14 inches 4 tusks, which were sold out to a local ivory trader, whose identity was yet undisclosed.
Sindh information Minister Sharjeel Innam Memon on his visit to Karachi Safari Park on Thursday was questioned by the newsmen about illegal trade of ivory, which was a precious but restricted item. The Minister had in response to those questions announced to dig into the details through an enquiry.
In this regard, KMC Sports, Culture and Recreation Department senior Director Rehan Khan visited the KZG Friday morning.
Sources inside the KZG told Pakistan Observer that Rehan Khan had lambasted KZG Director Fahim Sheikh for being involved in illegal acts and exceeding his powers. However, it was not known what departmental action would now be ensued onward to that crime of illegal ivory trade.
In past, 4 lion cubs had died at the KZG and despite severe action and recommendations from top level, certain hidden hands had protected the then KZG Director Mansoor Qazi and after remaining suspended for a few weeks, he was reinstated and offered another lucrative post in KMC accounts.
The import of baby elephants (1 male and 3 female) was from Tanzania and the KMC had claimed that the Tanzania Government had donated the baby elephants to KMC while the fact was that the baby elephants were bought for a hefty sum of money.
According to international laws governing the elephants in particular were clear that elephant could neither be exported, transported, gifted nor traded as they were declared protected animals. The laws also made it mandatory that their natural habitat would be protected as protected reserve and national park.
The baby elephants had also developed some problems as they were not kept in required special enclosures for past many years and the enclosure was recently constructed and Sindh in-formation Minister had on Thursday (May 8, 2014) inaugurated it at Karachi Safari park.
Pakistan Observer had reliably learnt that the prices of 4 elephant tusks in black market was Rs 2.5 million.