Dobighat, September 24, 2013 – Animal Nepal has launched a campaign to retire zoo elephant Pawankali. The loyal working elephant is now 65 and her eye sight is decreasing. Mr. Juddha Bahadur Gurung, Member Secretary of Nepal Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), promised to retire Pawankali.
Representatives from Animal Nepal handed over a letter to NTNC and the zoo earlier this month.
While in India working elephants retire at the age of 58, Nepal yet has to introduce welfare rules for jumbos. This despite the fact that over 200 working elephants are used to conduct safaris and anti poaching activities,
Pawankali arrived in the Central Zoo at the age of 30, where she is used for safaris and put on hire for functions. the loyal jumbo served the zoo for over 35 years. She lives alone and is chained when not working. Apart from a tin roof, she has no shelter.
In the letter Animal Nepal writes: “Pawankali deserves to be retired, and to be allowed to live the remains of her days in comfort.” Animal Nepal urges the government to issue welfare standards and to open a retirement home for aging working animals.
Mr Gurung said his organisation is looking to retire Pawankali. Animal Nepal appreciates the decision by NTNC but strongly disagrees with replacing Pawankali with a younger elephant. “We urge you to follow the example of India and various other countries, and end the presence of elephants in the Central Zoo,” urges the organisation.
Animal Nepal’s elephant campaign site can be viewed here.